MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nick Gordon hit a three-run homer and scored in the 10th inning for Minnesota on a miscue by Toronto catcher Danny Jansen to give the Twins a 6-5 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday-evening.
Gordon, who had three hits in the game, was the automatic runner to start the bottom of the tenth. Jordan Romano (3-3) knocked out Jake Cave with a low slider that passed Jansen, who threw wildly to first, allowing Cave to reach him and take Gordon to third.
Tim Beckham grounded out to third baseman Matt Chapman, who threw home to give Gordon a run. Jansen probably would have had the out, but didn’t catch the ball neatly.
“I was actually sliding and looking at the catcher, so I actually saw the ball drop and I yelled at the umpire a little bit,” Gordon said. “I was like, ‘Safe, safe.’ So I hoped he heard me.”
Toronto recovered from a 5-0 deficit before losing for the fourth time in their last 16 games.
“I think everything was in line with the way we wanted it to be and in the end we just didn’t execute it,” said interim manager John Schneider. “I like the way we play and I think it’s kind of a game in a vacuum. You try to crush it and move on.”
Michael Fulmer (4-4) left the bases loaded in the top of the tenth in his second appearance for Minnesota since he was acquired from Detroit.
The Twins, coming in after losing six of nine, extended their lead over AL Central to two games over Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox.
“Sometimes you just have to fight a little bit,” said Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli. “Put the ball in play. Let the other team make something happen. Once there’s a man on second base, once there’s a man on third base, anything can really happen in this game if you give yourself the chance.”
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The Blue Jays rallied in the ninth against new Twins closer Jorge López, another trade-deadline takeover being an All-Star for Baltimore. Bo Bichette and Danny Jansen singled before Raimel Tapia hit a two-out single in the shallow midfield.
Tyler Mahle made his debut in Minnesota and became the first Twins-starter to finish six innings since Sonny Gray won six times against Detroit on July 24.
Mahle gave up one basehit in the first four innings before giving up homeruns to Matt Chapman, Santiago Espinal and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who extended his hit streak to 16 games with a two-run shot to the middle in the sixth.
Acquired on the deadline of the Cincinnati Reds for three prospects, Mahle allowed four runs and five hits. He hadn’t allowed three home runs in a game this season.
“I was excited to play in a meaningful game,” Mahle said. “I haven’t actually done that all year. Excited my family was here to see it.”
Gordon’s fifth homer of the season capped a four-run fourth against former Twins-starter José Berríos, who gave up five runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings.
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Minnesota appointed right-handed Tyler Duffey for release or assignment, which would likely end Duffey’s eight-season tenure with the team. Duffey was 2-4 this season with a 4.91 ERA. He gave up three runs in 1 2/3 innings in Thursday’s 9-3 loss against Toronto.
Duffey, 31, was a starter early in his time with Minnesota before becoming a key reliever. He held a 2.31 ERA over 80 appearances from 2019-2020.
“There are decisions to be made. This was one that was very difficult,” said Baldelli. “It took some time and some reflection before we got there. But we thought it was something we had to do and therefore, if we think it’s the right thing to do, we should do it.”
Right-hander Cole Sands was recalled from Triple-A St. Paul to fill a long-relay role.
Blue Jays: OR George Springer was out of the lineup as he is dealing with a persistent elbow injury. Schneider said it was a maintenance day for Springer.
Twins: OF Byron Buxton was given a day off due to his lingering knee injury.
RHP Mitch White will make his Toronto debut on Saturday night after being landed on a deadline deal with Los Angeles. White was 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in 15 games, including 10 starts, for the Dodgers. Minnesota starts with RHP Dylan Bundy (6-5, 5.04 ERA), who has allowed 15 earned runs in his last 19 1/3 innings.
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