Teoscar Hernandez home run spurs Blue Jays to 6-2 win over Twins

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TORONTO — A three-run homer in the fourth inning by Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez was enough to terminate the Minnesota Twins' eight-game win streak at Rogers Centre.

Saturday's 6-2 victory restored the Blue Jays (83-65) to the second wild-card spot in the American League by a half-game over the New York Yankees.

The Yankees (83-66) were thumped 11-3 at home by Cleveland. The Boston Red Sox (85-65) held onto the top wild-card spot with a 9-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Canadian swimmer Penny Oleksiak, a seven-time Olympic medallist, was among 14,722 at the Rogers Centre. She threw out the ceremonial first pitch and tossed a strike.

The Twins appeared headed for a ninth straight win in Toronto dating back Aug. 17, 2017.

They led 2-0 after the first inning on a two-run homer to right field by former Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, who also belted a solo shot in Minnesota's series-opening win Friday.

But Toronto starter Steven Matz (13-7) settled down after Donaldson's homer Saturday to retire 16 of the next 17 Twins.

A two-out walk to Donaldson followed by a single to centre from Miguel Sano ended Matz's day after 96 pitches and five and two-thirds innings of work.

The lefty struck out five, walked two and yielded only three hits to win his fourth decision in a row.

Matz matched Hyun Jin Ryu for the Jays' lead in wins at 13.

Minnesota rookie starter Bailey Ober (2-3) took a no-hitter into the fourth inning. The home side got to Ober the second time through the Blue Jays order.

Second baseman Marcus Semien led off the fourth with a solo shot to left field for his 40th.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. then walked and Bo Bichette singled to centre.

Hernandez lifted a first-pitch slider high into the sky that barely cleared the left-field fence for his 28th homer and a two-run advantage.

Toronto padded its lead in the seventh when Twins reliever Jovani Moran loaded the bases with walks to Alejandro Kirk, George Springer and Guerrero.

Kyle Barraclough replaced Moran and was greeted with a two-run single to left from Bichette.

Blue Jays reliever Trevor Richards finished off the sixth for Matz. Tim Mayza generated a one-two-three seventh inning and struck out Nick Gordon to begin the eighth.

Righty Adam Cimber finished off the eighth aided by a brilliant play from Bichette. He went deep in the hole to his right to throw out Donaldson.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published September 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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