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May 10, 2024 2:42 am

Surging Twins head north of border, face tumbling Blue Jays

Jeffers twins

With 15 wins in their last 17 games. the Minnesota Twins are on a roll as they open a three-game series Friday night at the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Twins completed a 5-2 homestand Thursday afternoon with an 11-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, have lost 10 of 14. They had Thursday off after a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday finished a 2-3 trip.

Minnesota is scheduled to start right-hander Joe Ryan (1-2, 3.54 ERA). Ryan’s only career start against the Blue Jays was last June 10 at Toronto. He allowed three runs, six hits and one walk with four strikeouts in a six-inning no-decision as Minnesota won 9-4.

Toronto left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (2-2, 2.72) is slated to start. Kikuchi is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in five career starts against the Twins. He last faced them June 9, 2023. He allowed two runs, four hits and a walk, with four strikeouts, in five innings of a no-decision as Minnesota won 3-2.

The Twins continued their solid hitting Thursday, led by Manuel Margot’s five RBIs. They scored five runs in the first inning against Mariners starter Logan Gilbert, who entered the game with a 1.69 ERA.

“I don’t know what more I could ask for from our offense and the way they did their jobs,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I know I was sitting back for a period of time just watching and being very impressed with the whole group.”

Minnesota also had a strong outing from Pablo Lopez, who allowed one run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings while striking out 10.

“We were able to punch out 10 guys today with no walks,” said Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers, who had a solo home run and two RBIs. “To have that ratio, and for him to give us the outing that we needed from him today — we needed him to go deep — that was awesome.”

In the win over the Phillies, the Blue Jays got production from key hitters George Springer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette (5-for-14 combined, two RBIs).

However, in a 10-1 loss to the Phillies on Tuesday, the three combined to go 1-for-11.

Springer has struggled from the leadoff spot, though he does have a hit in each of his last four games. He has remained atop the order, while Bichette — who is hitting .091 over his last 12 games — has dropped from third to fifth and sixth.

“George needs to get going. I think everyone knows that. He knows that,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “We’ll see. You always trust the guy that has been there and done that. Him and Bo, they’re grinding. And I think it’s easy to say, ‘Oh, well, you moved Bo down. Why not move George down?’

“But you watch and you make the best decision that you can. And if there’s a time to change the lineup, there’s a time to change the lineup. With everyone else and who we have doing what they’re doing right now, you have to try to base it off of that, too. And then where does everyone else fit in?”

–Field Level Media

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