video thumbnail

MIN@TOR: Blue Jays turn a double play to end the 1st

TORONTO -- Even the best hitting teams in the league are prone to a slump every once in a while, and the Blue Jays are no exception. After dropping back-to-back shutouts to wrap their last series against the Cardinals, the Blue Jays were blanked for the third time in four games on Tuesday as they suffered a 4-0 loss to the Twins.

The last time the Blue Jays were shut out in three of four came way back in 1990, when it happened in three consecutive contests.

The Blue Jays mustered seven hits, none for extra bases, and have not scored a run in 33 of their last 36 innings as they fell to the Twins in the second of a three-game set against Minnesota at Rogers Centre.

"That's baseball if you want to know the truth," said manager John Gibbons. "Yeah, didn't see that coming but, naturally, as hot as we were, you figured we were going to cool off a bit. We hit some balls on the money tonight, right at guys. ... That's baseball, that's the way it goes sometimes. When you're not hitting, not scoring runs, you have to match them on the mound and we didn't do that."

J.A. Happ was the losing pitcher on a night in which he turned in his second-shortest outing of the season, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits while walking and striking out three.

Happ fell victim to a patient and scrappy Twins' batting order that took him deep into counts and drove him from the game after 3 2/3 innings.

Brian Dozier's two-run shot proved to be all the offense the Twins needed, but they added two more as Happ's record fell to 5-3 on the season.

His undoing came in the fourth after giving up a walk and a single to start the inning. The tall lefty found himself facing bases loaded with no outs, but initially managed to stave off harm with back-to-back strikeouts of Kurt Suzuki and Eduardo Escobar. He then induced a dribbler down the third-base line off the bat of Danny Santana that could've spelled the end of the inning, but third baseman Juan Francisco's throw to first ended up in the stands as Kendrys Morales and Oswaldo Arcia came around to score to make it 4-0. Santana was credited with an infield single on the play.

"All that matters is the results," said Happ, who indicated that he felt good on the mound despite the loss. "So those things in key situations, and them battling, kind of drove my pitch count up. Results-wise, it might not look good, but it felt a lot better."

He was relieved by Chad Jenkins, who pitched 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball before giving way to one-inning outings from Steve Delabar and Brett Cecil.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, were uncharacteristically shut out thanks largely to a solid outing from Twins starter Kevin Correia, who helped himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the second after giving up singles to Brett Lawrie and Dioner Navarro to start the inning.

After Francisco lined out, Correia walked Anthony Gose to load to the bases for Jose Reyes with one down.

That's when Correia flashed the leather and grabbed a comebacker with a behind-the-back stab before making the forceout at home. Melky Cabrera grounded out and the Twins escaped with their two-run lead in tact.

"It was huge," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "You never know where the game is going to go from there. If it goes back up the middle, who knows? I don't know if we're going to catch it and turn two or whatever. So it was a big play with the bases loaded."

In total, Correia pitched six-plus scoreless innings, allowing six hits, a walk and a strikeout to earn the win. It was his sixth quality start of the season, and the first time the 33-year-old has not allowed a run this season. He improved to 3-7, and despite getting some outs on hard-hit balls, Correia said it was nice to be on the right side of luck for a change.

"It was good because I think I threw the ball not much different than I've been throwing the ball," he said. "I think some balls got hit to people and saved us some runs. And that's what you need to have good results. I just think I've been semi-unlucky." Comments