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Blue Jays Top Twins, 6-5

(Sports Network) – Jose Bautista hit an inside-the-park homer and scored the go-ahead run on Vernon Wells’ double in the seventh inning, as Toronto outlasted Minnesota, 6-5, in a roller-coaster affair at Rogers Centre.

Alex Gonzalez added a solo home run and tacked on a sacrifice fly for the Blue Jays, who had lost eight of nine coming in.

Scott Downs (3-5) was credited with the win in relief of starter Marc Rzepczynski, who yielded four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out seven in 5 2/3 innings in his 2010 debut.

Orlando Hudson went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI, and Delmon Young added a solo blast for the Twins, who won the opener of this three game series on Tuesday, 7-6.

Minnesota’s Kevin Slowey took a no-decision after giving up five runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 frames.

With the score tied, 4-4, Denard Span singled off Shawn Camp with two away in the seventh and raced around to score when Hudson sent a ball to the right- field corner for a triple.

Fred Lewis answered with his own three-bagger with one out in the bottom half, ending Slowey’s night. Matt Guerrier (1-5) got Gonzalez to fly out to center, but Lewis easily sped in with the tying run.

Bautista worked a walk, and fellow All-Star Wells, mired in an 0-for-21 slump, doubled high off the wall in center to plate the go-ahead tally.

Downs, who stranded Hudson in the seventh by getting Joe Mauer on a flyout, pitched a scoreless eighth before Kevin Gregg turned in a 1-2-3 ninth to record his 19th save of the season.

Gonzalez got just enough of a Slowey breaking ball in the first inning to notch his 16th home run of the year.

The 1-0 lead stood until the fourth, when Span singled and Hudson golfed one down the left-field line and over the fence to begin the back-and-forth scoring.

John Buck doubled in the bottom half and came around to score on Edwin Encarnacion’s bloop hit to right. The Twins got the lead back in their next at-bat thanks to Young’s solo shot to left.

With two outs and John McDonald on first in Toronto’s turn, Bautista laced a liner to the left-field gap that got between Span and Young, with the latter’s slide for the ball taking out the former. The ball rolled to the wall and Span’s relay throw was not nearly in enough time to get the hustling Bautista at the plate. It was Bautista’s 22nd home run of the season.

Minnesota responded by loading the bases with one out, and Mauer scored to make it 4-4 on Jason Kubel’s sacrifice fly.

Rzepczynski, who went 2-4 with a 3.67 earned-run average in 11 starts last season as a rookie, was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas last week to take the rotation spot of the injured Shaun Marcum (elbow)…Bautista’s homer was Toronto’s first inside-the-parker since Greg Myers accomplished the feat on September 13, 2003…Bautista reached base in all four plate-appearances, going 2-for-2 with a pair of walks…Span and Justin Morneau each had two hits for the Twins.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.