Hunter's go-ahead double lifts Twins over Blue Jays 6-5
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Forgive the Minnesota Twins if they wish May wasn't ending. After four 90-loss seasons, winning 20 games in a month for the first time since 1991 feels pretty good.
''I think maybe we're going to change tomorrow to May 32nd and see what happens,'' manager Paul Molitor said Sunday when asked if his team's current streak is sustainable. ''It's staying in the moment. We're doing some good things, but it's your ability to find a way to stay with what's making you successful, and I'm not going to get too far ahead of myself.''
Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run homer, and Torii Hunter had a go-ahead double in the seventh inning to lift the Twins over the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Sunday.
Minnesota moved into first place in the AL Central and finished May with a 20-7 record, securing its first 20-win month since going 22-6 in June 1991. The Twins (30-19) have their most wins through 49 games since starting 33-16 in 2001.
''I'm not thinking about the rest of the season, I'm just thinking about tomorrow,'' Hunter said. ''We've got Boston tomorrow, we think about that game.''
Ryan Pressly (3-1) got two outs for the win, and the Twins overcame an early injury to starter Ricky Nolasco to win two of three in the series. A sore right ankle ended Nolasco's bid for a sixth straight victory in the second inning.
Toronto starter Drew Hutchison went 5 1-3 innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. He looked in command heading into the sixth before the Twins rallied to make it 4-all on Plouffe's homer.
The Blue Jays led 5-4 in the seventh after Josh Donaldson's 15th homer, but a throwing error by shortstop Jose Reyes allowed Aaron Hicks to reach safely in the bottom half against Roberto Osuna (1-2).
One out later, Brian Dozier singled and then Hunter launched a two-run double over Chris Colabello's head in left field.
''We got exposed today,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ''It's been happening a little bit lately. Hutch was cruising. He started out a little bit slow, kicked it in gear and then all of a sudden, wham, bam! ... You don't really know what happened.''
Blaine Boyer worked a scoreless eighth and Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 19th save in 19 chances.
Toronto led 4-1 in the sixth before Joe Mauer's RBI single scored Dozier. Plouffe followed with a 434-foot homer to the second deck to tie it.
The Blue Jays regained the lead in the seventh on Donaldson's homer. In recent years, that might have been enough against the Twins.
''They've played well enough over a period of time now where I think they believe they can find a way to hang around games and maybe come back,'' Molitor said.
Nolasco threw only 28 pitches in his final start of an outstanding month. He had just started pitching to Russell Martin leading off the second before coming up awkwardly on the mound. Molitor said he thinks Nolasco actually hurt his ankle in the first inning.
Nolasco stayed in the game after throwing a few warmup pitches, but Molitor pulled him for reliever J.R. Graham after back-to-back singles by Martin and Colabello.
''He just said, `I don't know if I can go,''' catcher Kurt Suzuki said Nolasco told Molitor during their final conference on the mound.
The team said Nolasco is day to day, and MRI results were expected in the next day or so.
''You don't want a guy to get hurt, and a guy who's been pitching well who's been winning games for us,'' Molitor said.
Donaldson has homered in five of his last six games and has hit in 20 straight games against the Twins, the second-longest active streak by any player against a particular team. Reyes has hit in 21 consecutive games against Detroit.
''He's got that knack, and that's why he's an elite player,'' Gibbons said. ''And that's not easy to do consistently like he's doing. Thank God we've got him.''
Blue Jays: The team placed INF Steve Tolleson on the disabled list with a strained groin and recalled INF Munenori Kawasaki from Triple-A Buffalo. Tolleson was batting .268 with three RBIs in 41 at-bats. Kawasaki had only five at-bats this season before being optioned to the minors last Monday.
Twins: GM Terry Ryan said Perkins was fine after sitting out Saturday's game when he had trouble loosening up. The Twins used Boyer as the closer as a precaution. ''I don't think it's anything other than maybe giving him a breather,'' Ryan said. ... Ryan said RHP Ervin Santana faced batters and threw about 70 pitches Saturday at the team's training facility in Florida. Santana is serving an 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing substance.
Blue Jays: Toronto begins a three-game series at Washington on Monday. R.A. Dickey (2-5) tries for his first road win of the season opposite Jordan Zimmermann (4-2).
Twins: Minnesota opens a four-game set at Boston on Monday when Mike Pelfrey (4-1) pitches against Clay Buchholz (2-6). The Twins swept three games from the Red Sox last week at Target Field.