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Twins welcome Blue Jays to Target Field
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Twins can stretch their win streak to four straight games on Tuesday night when they host the Toronto Blue Jays to open a three-game series at Target Field.
Minnesota started with six losses in its first nine games of 2014, but bounced back with a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals that concluded on Sunday when Josmil Pinto hit a two-run home run and the Twins scored two runs in the eighth inning to clinch a 4-3 decision.
Pinto broke a scoreless tie with a homer off Kansas City starter Jason Vargas in the bottom of the seventh, before the Royals scored three times to take a lead in the top of the eighth.
In the bottom half, Aaron Crow (0-1) walked the first two batters he faced and was immediately relieved by Wade Davis. After a Joe Mauer strikeout, Trevor Plouffe walked to load the bases. Chris Herrmann then bounced one back to Davis, who committed a throwing error on the play that enabled Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier to score.
Casey Fien (1-0) earned the win and Glen Perkins earned his third save of the season after he struck out the first two batters he faced in the ninth, before Mike Moustakas was called out for batter interference to end the game.
Minnesota will try to stretch the streak behind Phil Hughes, who makes his third start with the Twins and is still in search of his first win.
Hughes gave up four runs in five innings in both outings so far with the Twins, with all four coming in the first inning of a 7-4 loss to Oakland on Wednesday.
In 20 career starts against the Blue Jays while with the New York Yankees, Hughes is 5-6 with a 5.02 earned run average.
Toronto counters with Brandon Morrow, who'll look for a second straight win.
Morrow picked up his first victory of 2014 on Wednesday against Houston, when he struck out nine and gave up three runs in six innings of a 7-3 triumph.
He's won both decisions in two career starts against Minnesota while posting a 2.77 ERA.
On Sunday in Baltimore, Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer, while Colby Rasmus added a solo shot and also knocked in three to fuel Toronto's 11-3 victory over Baltimore in the rubber match of a three-game series from Camden Yards.
Edwin Encarnacion finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI, with Adam Lind contributing three hits and two runs scored for the Blue Jays, who won the set and have taken five of their last eight overall.
Mark Buehrle (3-0) tossed seven strong innings, allowing a run on five hits with two strikeouts.
Toronto was 5-1 against the Twins last season.
04/15 10:56:10 ET
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