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(Monday, June 9)
Final Score: Toronto 5, Minnesota 4
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Pillar singled home pinch-runner Erik Kratz in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a three-game series at Rogers Centre.
The Twins erased a 4-2 deficit in the top of the ninth, but Matt Guerrier (0-1) walked the leadoff batter, Dioner Navarro, who was replaced by Kratz.
After Anthony Gose struck out on a failed bunt attempt, Casey Fien took over for Guerrier.
Jose Reyes then lined a single to right field -- his third hit of the game -- and Pillar followed with a blooper to right to score Kratz and end the Blue Jays' two-game skid.
Edwin Encarnacion blasted a three-run homer for AL East-leading Toronto, which was coming off consecutive 5-0 losses to St. Louis over the weekend.
Danny Santana and Brian Dozier clubbed back-to-back homers off Toronto starter R.A. Dickey to begin the game, but the knuckleballer settled down to pitch into the sixth inning.
"The more aggressive I became, the better result I started having," Dickey said.
Dickey retired 11 straight batters before Josh Willingham tripled with one out in the sixth. He then hit Oswaldo Arcia with a pitch and walked Kendrys Morales, who was making his Minnesota debut after signing with the club on Sunday, to load the bases.
Dustin McGowan relieved Dickey and got Trevor Plouffe to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Blue Jays also turned two in the seventh and eighth, but couldn't in the ninth and it cost them.
Toronto closer Casey Janssen (1-0) induced a chopper to third from Plouffe and Brett Lawrie threw to second for the second out. Steve Tolleson was unable to get a throw off to first, and the Twins tied the game with consecutive doubles by Kurt Suzuki and Eduardo Escobar.
Suzuki had three hits in Minnesota's fourth loss in five games.
The Blue Jays grabbed the lead in the bottom of the first on a two-out shot by Encarnacion off Twins' right-hander Ricky Nolasco. It was the 20th home run of the season for Encarnacion.
Nolasco also gave up Reyes' leadoff homer in the fifth.
"When you make a couple of mistakes, they make you pay," Nolasco said.
Dickey allowed five hits and walked two ... Nolasco surrendered seven hits, walked two and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings ... Morales finished 1-for-3 with a walk ... First baseman Joe Mauer played in his 1,234th career game, tying Torii Hunter for ninth place on the Twins' all-time list ... Jacque Jones and Christian Guzman were the last pair of Twins to begin a game with back-to-back home runs (2002) ... Reyes extended his hitting streak to 10 games ... The Twins opened a nine-game road trip on Monday ... Minnesota signed its 2014 first-round draft pick, Nick Gordon. The shortstop was selected fifth overall last week.
06/10 01:39:58 ET