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Correa’s grand slam leads Twins past Blue Jays in 9-4 comeback victory

TORONTO — Carlos Correa’s eighth-inning grand slam home run spearheaded the Minnesota Twins’ 9-4 comeback win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

Correa belted his second career bases-loaded home run into the first row in left field to give the Twins a second straight win in the three-game set against the Blue Jays.

The Twins sent 10 batters to the plate in the eighth. Two hitters after Correa, Max Kepler smacked a three-run shot to right-centre field.

Correa’s homer came off reliever Adam Cimber (0-2), who managed one strikeout against the seven batters he faced. With an outpouring of jeers from the 41,990 at Rogers Centre, Cimber was replaced by Mitch White, who surrendered the Kepler blow.

Cimber and White wiped out a solid seven innings from Trevor Richards, Tim Mayza and Bowden Francis.

Pitching in Alek Manoah’s spot in the rotation, the trio combined to yield five hits, a walk and 12 strikeouts. The Blue Jays optioned Manoah to the Florida Complex League on Tuesday to work out his troubles.

After surrendering a leadoff double, Richards retired the next eight Twins, striking out six. He then gave up a walk before fanning his final batter in his 53-pitch, three-inning outing.

Mayza pitched the next 1 1/3 innings, striking out two more Twins. Francis lasted 2 2/3 innings, but gave up a leadoff homer in the seventh inning to straightaway centre field from Trevor Larnach.

The Blue Jays built a 3-0 lead with runs in the second, third and fifth innings. Matt Chapman walked to open the second inning, took second base on Alejandro Kirk’s ground out to short and scored on Whit Merrifield’s single to right.

In the third, designated hitter Brandon Belt drove a two-out double to right and scored on a long single to centre from Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

George Springer began the fifth inning with a double off the centre field wall. He advanced to third on Bo Bichette’s fly out to right field and scored on Nathan Lukes’s sacrifice fly to centre.

Lukes hit for Belt in the fifth inning after the latter exited the game with left hamstring tightness.

Minnesota starter Joe Ryan lasted six innings, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out four and walking one. Reliever Jorge Lopez (2-2) recorded the win.

The teams traded runs in the ninth.


Canadian Edouard Julien led off the game with a double down the right-field line for his 15th career hit in 20 games. He finished 2 for 3 with a single, a walk and a strikeout.

The Twins promoted the Quebec City native from the Triple-A St. Paul on Saturday after second baseman Jorge Polanco was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain.

Julien, 24, made his MLB debut with the Twins on April 12 and smacked his first homer the next day at Yankee Stadium. He played for Canada at the 2019 Pan American Games and the 2023 World Baseball Classic.


Kevin Gausman (5-3) will start for the Blue Jays in the series finale on Sunday against Minnesota’s Louie Varland (3-2).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2023.

Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press