Offence Cools: First-place Blue Jays shut out for third time in four games
Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014 04:00 am
TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays' offence was one of the most feared in the major leagues through May and early June.
The inevitable cold spell has arrived.
The Minnesota Twins blanked Toronto 4-0 on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre, handing the Blue Jays their third shutout loss in four games.
"That's the way it goes sometimes," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "When you're not hitting, you're not scoring runs, you've got to match them on the mound and we didn't do that."
Twins starter Kevin Correia (3-7) threw six-plus innings and three relievers completed the seven-hit shutout in front of an announced crowd of 20,681. Brian Dozier homered as Minnesota (30-33) won for the second time in six games.
Toronto (39-27) pulled out a 5-4 walkoff win in the series opener Monday after dropping a pair of 5-0 decisions to the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend. The Twins and Blue Jays will close out the three-game series with a matinee on Wednesday.
"We just couldn't get anything going offensively," Gibbons said. "I mean that's what it comes down to. Three out of four days shut out, you don't expect that. But quick turnaround tomorrow."
The Blue Jays remained 5 1/2 games up on second-place Baltimore in the American League East standings. The Boston Red Sox blanked the Orioles 1-0.
Danny Santana opened the game with a walk and scored when Dozier homered in his first at-bat for the second straight night. He turned on an 0-1 pitch from Toronto starter J.A. Happ (5-3) for his 14th home run of the season.
The Blue Jays had some chances early on but stranded five runners over the first two innings. Correia settled down after that and retired 13 straight batters before giving up a two-out single to Adam Lind in the sixth.
"It looked like he was kind of searching to find it but once it got going he got his confidence, (he) started making pitches," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "Great performance by him."
Minnesota padded its lead in the fourth inning when third baseman Juan Francisco hurried a throw to first base and launched it high, allowing two runs to come across. Chad Jenkins relieved Happ after the play and allowed just one hit over 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
It's the first time Toronto has been shut out in three of four games since 1990 when they failed to score over a three-game stretch.
"You can't put up seven runs every game, it's just impossible," Jenkins said. "But there's no doubt that these guys will come back and we'll start scoring more runs and start winning more ball games."
Correia's night came to an end when Dioner Navarro singled to open the seventh. The right-hander gave up six hits and a walk and had one strikeout.
Happ allowed six hits, three earned runs, three walks and struck out three over 3 2/3 innings.
It was Minnesota's fifth shutout of the season and Toronto's fourth shutout loss of the year. The Twins outhit the Blue Jays 9-7.
Notes: The game took three hours seven minutes to play. ... Blue Jays right-hander Sergio Santos (elbow) began his rehab assignment with the double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Tuesday. He gave up three hits, three earned runs and a walk while striking out two over one inning of work. ... Marcus Stroman (3-0, 5.40 ERA) is scheduled to start for Toronto in the series finale. The Twins will counter with fellow right-hander Phil Hughes (6-2, 3.46). ... Minnesota has an off-day Thursday before continuing its season-long 10-day road trip with a weekend series in Detroit. The Blue Jays will kick off a four-game series at Baltimore on Thursday. ... Jose Bautista singled in the first inning and has reached base safely in 63 of his 66 games this season. ... Twins right-fielder Oswaldo Arcia was hit by a pitch in the leg in the fifth. On the next pitch, Eduardo Nunez fouled a ball off his leg and also hopped around in pain. Both players stayed in the game. ... Jose Reyes singled in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games. He has reached base safely in 35 of his last 37 games. ... The Blue Jays signed their second round draft pick RHP Sean Reid-Foley and fifth round draft pick CF Lane Thomas on Tuesday.
Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.