TORONTO — Cavan Biggio’s three-run homer in the eighth inning completed a 7-6 comeback win for the Toronto Blue Jays against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
The Blue Jays (37-30) overcame a five-run deficit to defeat the Twins (33-33) in the series finale after dropping the first two games.
Alejandro Kirk and Santiago Espinal led off the eighth inning with singles before Biggio blasted his fifth homer of the year to right-centre field off reliever Emilio Pagan (3-1).
Toronto closer Jordan Romano earned his 18th save, and Nate Pearson (4-0) recorded the win for his two innings of relief.
The Twins roughed up Toronto starter Kevin Gausman with a four-run first inning.
Quebec City native Edouard Julien led off with a double past Biggio.
A pair of walks, another double to right field from Alex Kirilloff and singles from Trevor Larnach and Royce Lewis pushed across the four runs in the eight-batter inning.
The Blue Jays scored once in their half of the first. George Springer led off with a single and then advanced to third base on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s hit to centre before scoring on Matt Chapman’s sacrifice fly.
Minnesota increased its lead to 6-1 in the fifth inning with Donovan Solano’s solo shot to centre field and another RBI single from Lewis.
Gausman lasted 4 2/3 innings having thrown 101 pitches. He surrendered six runs on seven hits, four walks and had four strikeouts.
In the bottom of the fifth, Biggio singled and later scored on a throwing error from shortstop Carlos Correa. Chapman then hit a two-out, two-run homer to left field with Guerrero on base.
That was the final pitch for Twins starter Louie Varland. He struck out six in his 4 2/3 innings, walked two, and gave up four runs on six hits.
There was a lengthy delay in the fourth inning when home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt left the game after being hit in the left arm by a Daulton Varsho foul tip.
A day after pitching a strong 2 2/3 innings, Toronto optioned pitcher Bowden Francis to Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday. Thomas Hatch was promoted to give the Blue Jays a fresh arm in the bullpen.
Hatch replaced Gausman with two out and two on in the fifth inning, yielding a run-scoring single to centre.
The Blue Jays have Monday off but return to action on Tuesday for a three-game set in Baltimore against the Orioles.
Toronto starter Chris Bassitt (7-4) will face Orioles righty Dean Kremer (6-3) in the opener.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2023.
Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press