MLB Baseball

6
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Toronto0 2 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 6110
Minnesota1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 132
1
  W: R. Ray (13-6)   L: J. Gant (1-4)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, September 25, 2021
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota  Attendance: 27,183

Slumping Jays turn to Robbie Ray vs. Twins

According to STATS
According to STATS

Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins

  1. Toronto took two of three at home against the Twins last weekend and has not lost a series in Minnesota since dropping two of three at Target Field in May 2015.
  2. Toronto dropped two of three to the Rays at Tropicana Field and enters the day 0.5 games behind the Yankees for the second AL Wild Card spot. The Blue Jays are an MLB-best 19-6 (.760) since August 28 and lead the majors with 157 runs scored, 52 home runs and an .874 OPS in that span.
  3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has multiple hits in three of his last four games and leads the majors with 182 hits this season. He also leads MLB with 120 runs and is tied for the MLB lead with 46 homers and could be the second player ever to lead the majors in all three categories -- Rogers Hornsby did so in 1922 with 250 hits, 141 runs, and 42 homers.
  4. Steven Matz is 13-7 this season and has won each of his last three starts after picking up no-decisions in each of his previous three. His 13 wins are tied for the fourth most by a player in his first season with Toronto, trailing Roger Clemens (21 in 1997), Jack Morris (21 in 1992), and R.A. Dickey (14 in 2013).
  5. Minnesota took both games of a two-game set at Wrigley Field, its fourth multi-game series sweep this season and first since taking four games against Detroit entering the All-Star break. The Twins hit three homers in the two games and have scored 48.1 percent of their runs this season via the home run -- fourth most in MLB and second in the AL behind the Blue Jays (48.2 percent).
  6. Max Kepler had three hits in each of the two games at Wrigley Field, including a double and two home runs in the series finale. He looks to join Marwin Gonzalez (August 15-17, 2019) as the only Twins in the last 10 years to have three consecutive three hit games.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/23/2021 thru 9/26/2021

The Toronto Blue Jays are tied with the red-hot Seattle Mariners, two games behind the New York Yankees for the final wild-card spot in the American League with eight games to go.

And despite losing three straight games, including the first two of their four-game series with the AL Central cellar-dwelling Minnesota Twins, Jays manager Charlie Montoyo isn't ready to push the panic button.

"This is the same team," Montoyo said after Toronto (85-69) managed just four hits in a 3-1 loss to the Twins (69-85) on Friday night in Minneapolis. "Maybe guys are feeling a little pressure, but that's a privilege. We have earned it, to get to this point and to still have a chance after everything we've overcome the whole year."

There's still plenty of reason for optimism for Montoyo's squad. The Blue Jays still have a three-game showdown with the Yankees in Toronto next week. And Jays left-hander Robbie Ray (12-6, 2.72 ERA), perhaps the front-runners for the AL Cy Young Award, will be on the mound to try and stop the skid in Saturday night's Game 3 of the series.

Ray leads the American League in ERA and strikeouts (238) heading into his 31st start of the season. He'll be opposed by right-hander John Gant (5-9, 3.76), who will make his first career appearance against the Blue Jays.

"It's huge," said Jays center fielder George Springer of Ray getting the start. "He's been our horse all year. He's just an absolute competitor out there. He's pitched in big spots. It's awesome to have him out there. I know for sure we'll flush these last few days and get right behind him."

Springer, the 2017 World Series MVP with the Houston Astros, has been in pressure situations before.

"It's not the ideal time to lose three straight, but that's the game," said Springer, who is 0-for-20 against the Twins this season. "We have to flush it. It is what it is. We've got our guy going tomorrow. We've got to really get behind him and see what happens."

Ray hasn't faced the Twins since his rookie season with the Detroit Tigers in 2014, when he compiled a 0-1 record and 10.80 ERA in three appearances (two starts) against them. No doubt he'd love to flush his only other start at Target Field that season, when he allowed six runs in just 1 1/3 innings of a 20-6 loss.

Minnesota will take a four-game winning streak into Saturday's game, which will be preceded by a special ceremony honoring Justin Morneau. The 2006 AL MVP will become the 34th member of the Twins' Hall of Fame.

Minnesota's Bailey Ober picked up the win in Friday night's 3-1 victory, allowing one run -- the 42nd home run of the season by Marcus Semien - and four hits over 5 1/3 innings before turning the game over to the bullpen.

Four relievers then combined to no-hit the Blue Jays, with Alex Colome earning his 16th save with a five-pitch, 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Byron Buxton highlighted a three-run third inning with a two-run homer, and Luis Arraez added an RBI triple as the Twins spoiled the Target Field homecoming of Toronto starter Jose Berrios, who finished with 10 strikeouts over six innings.

"These are big games obviously for the Blue Jays," Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. "Jose took the ball on their end. He was very sharp. His stuff was electric. He pitched very, very well. Our guys just pitched better today. And that's really what it all came down to."

--Field Level Media

Updated September 25, 2021

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