Minnesota Twins Games Grades in 3-1 Loss to Toronto

May 22, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista (19) celebrates with third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
May 22, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista (19) celebrates with third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Twins Feisty, But Punchless, in 3-1 Loss to Blue Jays

Jose Bautista is comfortable at Target Field. Josh Donaldson seems glad to leave. Both hitters led off Sunday’s game with home runs, and two runs was all Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman would need to defeat the Twins today.

With “Joey Bats” struggling coming into the Minnesota series, Jays manager John Gibbons decided to spark his team by having he and Donaldson at the top of the order – his top two power hitters – to get them as many as bats as possible, and hopefully to jump-start a ballgame.

Against control pitcher, Phil Hughes, Bautista calmly waited for one away enough to extend his arms through the zone. It took only until the 4th pitch of the game for he to deposit his 14th career Target Field home run into the seats.

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Bautista became the top visiting home run leader in just 21 career games, a park not considered an easy one to park it. Donaldson hit his home run just three pitches later, and seemed to send the Twins bench a message as he crossed home plate.

Phil Hughes (1-7) sent one to Donaldson in the 5th. After a pitch way inside, Hughes threw the next pitch behind Donaldson. After seeing Donaldson barking at Hughes, Gibbons came running out of the dugout to protect his reigning MVP…and getting tossed in the process.

Marcus Stroman pegged Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki in the bottom of the frame, and the baseball world order was once again restored. With the Jays scoring all 3 of their runs in the first, and Minnesota scoring their only run in the second, the pitchers on both teams make quick work and finished up the game in a tidy 2 hours and 29 minutes.

The only Twins run scored after the newest Twin, Robbie Grossman, walked and advanced to third on a double by Oswaldo Arcia. Grossman scored when the next batter, Suzuki, grounded to out to second. Danny Santana struck out to end the only Twins threat of the day, falling to 11-32 (7-13 at Target Field), now 14.5 games behind Chicago.

2. Final. 3. 39. 1

Oswaldo Arcia. OFFENSE . D. 3 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 0 home runs and 0-4 with runners in scoring position. Stroman allowed only 3 hits, and only 1 extra base hit, the double to Arcia..

. Phil Hughes. STARTERS . C+. Team totals: 8 hits allowed, 1 walk, 2 home runs and 0 strikeouts. Hughes settled down after the first inning, but the damage was already done – a 3-0 deficit. Twins seem to find themselves in a hole to often before they even have a chance to come to the plate. 

RELIEVERS . A. Team totals: 1 hit allowed, 0 walks, 0 home runs and 5 strikeouts. After throwing gas on the fire all week, the bullpen threw zeros on the board for three innings today, giving the Twins’ hitters a chance for a comeback. It never materialized, but they did their jobs today. Tonkin worked 1.1 innings, getting 3 K’s. . .

B-. The Twins made 1 error (<a href=. . . DEFENSE

Next: Which Twins Player Could Get Moved?

MVT: Oswaldo Arcia – Aggressive at the plate, 1 XBH, no strikeouts

Notes: The Minnesota Twins will continue their homestand with three games against Kansas City (22-21). Ricky Nolasco will look for win #2 against Ian Kennedy at 7:10 CDT at Target Field. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports North.

Shortstop Eduardo Escobar looks to have finished his rehab stint and may be called up in time for Monday’s game. With everyone else healthy, Jorge Polanco will likely be the odd man out once again.