Upton, Blue Jays overcome 5-run deficit, Twins' skid hits 9
TORONTO (AP) Even in Little League, Melvin Upton Jr. couldn't remember circling the bases quite this way.
Upton Jr. hit an RBI triple past a diving outfielder and continued home on a misplay, completing Toronto's rally from a five-run deficit and sending the AL East-leading Blue Jays over the Minnesota Twins 8-7 Saturday.
''That's a first,'' Upton Jr. said of his wild circuit.
The speedy Upton, acquired in a trade with San Diego last month, has nine RBIs in his past 14 games.
''He's dynamic out there and we're excited to have him,'' Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman said.
Edwin Encarnacion homered and drove in three runs as Toronto handed the Twins their ninth straight loss.
''There's all different kinds of ways to lose games,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ''That one was particularly difficult.''
The Blue Jays trailed 7-6 in the eighth when Kevin Pillar doubled with one out off Ryan Pressly (6-6). Upton followed with a triple past a diving Max Kepler in shallow right.
Kepler slipped and fell trying to retrieve the ball, and accidentally kicked it onto the warning track. That allowed Upton to score standing up as a sellout crowd of 47,485 cheered wildly.
''I kind of knew it would be a triple once it got by him,'' Upton Jr. said, ''but rounding second I saw (third base coach Luis Perez) kept waving me and I kept going.''
A disappointed Kepler stared into his locker for several minutes before speaking with reporters.
''I made three mistakes,'' Kepler said. ''I take the blame.''
Molitor said he had no issue with Kepler's aggressive dive.
''Sometimes we try to do too much and sometimes we play a little tentative and try not to make a mistake,'' Molitor said. ''I'd rather have to back guys off than to get them going.''
Jason Grilli (5-3) worked one inning for the win and Roberto Osuna finished for his 29th save.
''A win like that can get some good things going for us,'' Grilli said.
Manager John Gibbons agreed.
''That was a huge game, falling behind like we did and then to come back,'' Gibbons said. ''A little reminiscent of last year. It was a much-needed win.''
Minnesota led 5-0 before the Blue Jays rallied. Encarnacion hit his 36th homer and leads the AL with 105 RBIs.
Trevor Plouffe homered for the second straight game. He hadn't connected since July 1 before his first-inning drive Friday night.
Dozier singled and scored on a wild pitch by Marcus Stroman in the first, singled again in the third, then hit a two-run double in Minnesota's four-run fourth.
After Encarnacion homered in the sixth to make it 5-3, Plouffe homered off Bo Schultz in the seventh.
Toronto chased starter Ervin Santana while scoring three times in the seventh. Pressly relieved with the bases loaded and gave up a two-run single to Josh Donaldson. Encarnacion followed with an RBI single off the glove of Plouffe at third.
''Things just snowballed,'' Molitor said. ''You've got a team that's certainly capable of scoring runs in a hurry and got a little momentum.''
Toronto has won consecutive games in which it has allowed seven or more runs. The Blue Jays are 6-18 in such games this season.
The Blue Jays recalled Schultz from Triple-A Buffalo. LHP Aaron Loup was designated for assignment.
Dozier's two-run double gave him a career-best 78 RBIs.
Twins: 1B Joe Mauer returned after missing three games with a sore quadriceps.
Blue Jays: C Russell Martin got the day off. ... 2B Devon Travis returned after missing four games with a sore knuckle on his right ring finger, while OF Michael Saunders was back after missing two games with a sore hamstring. ... Pillar started after being scratched Friday because of flulike symptoms.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (5-8, 5.09) is 1-1 with a 4.42 ERA in three career starts against Toronto.
Blue Jays: RHP R.A. Dickey (9-13, 4.43) has allowed no more than two earned runs in three of his past four starts.