(Sports Network) – Denard Span’s RBI single in the eighth proved to be the difference, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-6, in a back-and-forth affair at Rogers Centre.
Span finished with two RBI for the Twins, who came into the series having lost nine of their last 13 games. Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer both homered, while Delmon Young had three hits, an RBI and a run scored.
Jason Kubel hit a solo homer and scored twice, and Jose Mijares (1-0) grabbed the win for getting two outs in the seventh. Jon Rauch recorded his 19th save.
Lyle Overbay, DeWayne Wise and Edwin Encarnacion all homered for the Blue Jays, who have dropped eight of nine to fall two games below .500 (41-43). Fred Lewis drove in two runs in defeat, while Jason Frasor (3-2) was issued the loss for yielding the Twins’ seventh run.
With the game tied, 6-6, entering the eighth, the Twins used some small ball to plate the go-ahead run. Young hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that tipped Frasor’s glove and slowed for an infield single. He was sacrificed to second on a bunt from Nick Punto, and Span singled off Scott Downs to score Young.
After the Blue Jays went down in order in the ninth, Rauch retired the first two Toronto batters of the ninth before Encarnacion singled to keep the game alive. Pinch-hitter Vernon Wells, though, struck out to help the Twins take the win.
The Twins struck for two runs in the second. Morneau walked leading off, and Kubel singled him to second. The pair both moved up a base on a groundout, and Morneau scored on Jim Thome’s groundout to first. Young added an RBI single for a 2-0 advantage.
Overbay led off the third with a ground-rule double and scored on Lewis’ two- base hit for a 2-1 contest, and the Blue Jays battered starter Carl Pavano for four runs to move in front.
Overbay immediately tied the game, launching a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left for his ninth homer of the season. Encarnacion followed with a ground-rule double and scored on Lewis’ one-out single to right.
Following Lewis’ steal of second, Wise crushed Pavano’s 0-1 offering over the wall in right for a 5-2 lead.
Morneau and Kubel hit back-to-back homers with one out in the sixth to cut the Twins’ deficit to one, and Minnesota loaded the bases with one out after a single, double and intentional walk. Punto fouled out for the second out, but Span worked a walk to tie the game, 5-5.
Mauer followed by beginning the seventh with his fourth home run of the season for a one-run Twins edge, but Encarnacion tied it up in the home half with his 10th longball of 2010.
The Twins are 33-14 when scoring first…Minnesota leads the season series, 2-1…Pavano allowed six runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings for the Twins, while Jesse Litch yielded five runs, seven hits and two walks in 5 1/3 frames.