Twins-Blue Jays Preview
TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays will try to finish their six-game home stand with a winning record on Sunday when they go for a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins.
The Blue Jays are assured of a split in the six games against the Los Angeles Angels and the Twins after their comeback 8-7 win on Saturday.
The Twins will not only be trying to avoid the sweep on Sunday but trying to end a losing streak that has reached nine games.
Minnesota will send out Kyle Gibson (5-8, 5.09 ERA) against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (9-13, 4.43 ERA).
The Twins led 5-0 and 7-3 on Saturday before losing it in the eighth on an RBI triple by Melvin Upton Jr., who then continued home on an error by right fielder Max Kepler as he pursued the ball.
The right fielder's original mistake was diving to try to catch the sinking drive instead of letting it drop for a single. Upton ran home with what proved to be the winning run.
The improbable win by the Blue Jays assured that they would be on top of the American League East by themselves for at least another day.
It was a matter of the Twins finding another way to lose in a discouraging season.
"There's all different kinds of ways to lose games," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "That one was particularly difficult. ... Max is trying to make a play and get us off the field with a lead and he came up short. He's trying to do something to help us win. It takes some fortitude to find a way to persevere. We've got a long losing streak going.
"Sometimes we try to do too much and sometimes we play a little tentative and try not to make a mistake. I'd rather have to back guys off than to get them going. We talked about that a little bit (Friday). If guys are going to try to do something that has a chance to help us win a game then I'm not going to be critical."
The view was different from the other side.
"That was a huge play," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "A huge game, falling behind like we did then to come back."
If the Blue Jays defeat the Twins on Sunday it will give them a 4-2 home stand before they travel to Baltimore for a three-game series against the Orioles, who are third in the AL East.
The Blue Jays lost two of three games to the Angels after losing two of three to the Indians last weekend in Cleveland.
The win Saturday had the Blue Jays talking again about how they never are out of a game.
"Even in close games lately, when we're behind I generally get that feeling," Gibbons said. "We have some guys in that lineup that can burn you real quick. All you have to do is get a guy or two on base.
"We lost a couple of tough ones against Anaheim. We really couldn't get anything going. We lost a couple of tough ones in Cleveland. So we're coming off a couple of series that beat up on us a little bit and to bounce back like that is big."
Dickey will looking for his second straight win after holding the Angels to six hits, two walks and two runs Tuesday. In four starts in August, he is 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA.
In 11 career games, including seven starts against the Twins, Dickey is 2-3 with a 6.20 ERA.
This will be Gibson's first start of the season against the Blue Jays. In three career starts against Toronto, he is 1-1 with a 4.42 ERA.
Gibson took the loss on Tuesday when he allowed seven hits, four walks and five runs in five innings against the Detroit Tigers.