Blue Jays vs. Twins Game Recap - Apr. 16, 2019

Jamie Branje
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

MINNESOTA - Eric Sogard impressed in his debut with three hits as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-5 on Tuesday night in Minnesota.


Justin Smoak and Teoscar Hernandez each hit two-run singles and Sogard collected three hits, two runs scored and a stolen base to power the Toronto offence. 


Eddie Rosario hit a three-run home run and Jorge Polanco hit a solo shot to help lead the Twins attack. 


Kyle Gibson (0-0) finished his day with five and 1/3 innings pitched, with four earned runs allowed on four hits, three walks and four strikeouts. He cruised early but ran into trouble in the sixth, unable to get out of the inning after surrendering a two-run single to Justin Smoak.


Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez (2-1) threw six innings of four-run baseball, with four hits, four walks and five strikeouts. All of the damage against Sanchez came off the long ball, as he allowed a solo and three-run home run. 


Toronto improved to 7-11 on the season withthe victory, their second in a row, to open up a seven-game road trip.


The host Twins fell to 8-6 with the loss in front of 13,365 at Target Field.


Closer Ken Giles picked up the save, his fifth of the season, although he did surrender a home run and nearly allowed the tying run to score.


Marwin Gonzalez hit his first home run of the season for his new team off of Giles to lead off the bottom of the ninth, bringing the score within one. Nelson Cruz pinch hit for Jake Cave, and walked. Giles was able to retire the next two batters, but Byron Buxton came to the plate and hit a sharp liner to the wall in left field. Hernandez threw an accurate ball cut off by Freddy Galvis and the relay was in time to catch pinch runner Jonathan Schoop at home plate.


In for the eighth inning in his usual setup role was Joe Biagini. He retired the heart of the Twins order, two through four, in order to pave the way for Ken Giles to close.


The seventh inning started with a Jansen strikeout off of reliever Trevor May, follow by a single to right for Sogard, his third hit in the game. May induced a groundout but walked two batters and was pulled for Trevor Hildenberger with the bases loaded and two out.


Hernandez delivered on the first pitch he saw off of Hildenberger, lining a two-run single to left field. Smoak was caught in a rundown and tagged out in the play, but Hernandez' clutch hit gave the Blue jays a late lead for the second night in a row, this time pushing it to 6-4. 


Danny Jansen opened the top of the sixth with a single to left field, followed by a double by Sogard to right. A walk to Randal Grichuk two batters later loaded the bases for Smoak. He hit a hard grounder up the middle to score Jansen and Sogard, as well as chase Gibson from the game. 


Those are the first two runs scored in the sixth inning the entire season for the Blue Jays. 


Two batters later, with Ryne Harper on the mound and runners on first and second, Rowdy Tellez hit a sharp liner to right field which was deep enough to score Grichuk, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead.


Alen Hanson hit a hanging curveball softly to left to score another run for Toronto, increasing the lead further with a single.  


Sanchez walked the first two batters of the inning after the Jays took a three-run lead, and Rosario promptly cleared the bases with a towering home run to right field. His three-run home run tied the game after surrendering the lead the inning prior.  


Familiar story for the Jays in this one, as they recorded just one hit in the first four innings. It was a leadoff hit by newly called up Sogard, making his debut for the Blue Jays. He was called up when Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was optioned to AAA after Sunday's game.


Minnesota threatened first in the second, with back-to-back one-out singles by Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Cave, but Sanchez retired the next two batters to escape. 


The Twins opened the scoring in the bottom of the third with a solo home run hit by shortstop Polanco to right field. 


These two teams resume play for the third game of a four-game set tomorrow night, as Trent Thornton (0-1) starts for Toronto against Jake Odorizzi (0-2) for Minnesota.