Buxton, Twins walk-off Jays in extra innings
Minnesota outfielder hits game-winning homer
Byron Buxton's 10th-inning homer gave the Minnesota Twins their second straight walk-off victory, a 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night.
A night after Eddie Rosario beat the San Diego Padres with a 10th-inning homer, Buxton connected on a 1-0 count off Toronto's Luis Santos with two outs. Buxton's 15th homer didn't leave much suspense as it reached the second deck in left field.
"For him to be able to put a good swing, I know he's been battling, we talk about the hand all the time, but he's found a way to compete each and every night," Molitor said. "No complaints. He's just going out there and tonight he walks off the game's hero."
Buxton has been playing through a hand injury which knocked him out for one game at the start of the month. He has 10 homers and 25 RBIs in his last 31 games, and he's hit four homers in four games against the Blue Jays this season.
"Heck, we haven't been able to keep him in the park," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He's going to be a great, great player."
Talking to reporters with his left hand heavily wrapped after the game, Buxton said he got a tip from teammates who faced Santos in the minors that the right-handed reliever likes to rely on off-speed pitches.
After taking a fastball for a 1-0 count, Buxton waited and got a breaking pitch over the plate for his first career walk-off hit.
"It just pushes us," Buxton said of the second straight walk-off win. "It shows how much character we got as a team to keep fighting and not give up. Every at-bat is a fight for us. We go out there and try to have quality at-bats and keep the line moving."
Dillon Gee (2-2) pitched one inning of relief for Minnesota, which earned its fifth walk-off win of the season and has won six of its past eight games. The Twins maintained their lead for the second wild card in the American League.
Smoak sends game to extras
Santos (0-1) recorded two outs in the loss. Toronto's Justin Smoak had tied the game with a two-out homer in the top of the ninth off Twins closer Matt Belisle.
Late night Smoak. 💨🔥 <a href="https://t.co/PaZYfV91Ge">pic.twitter.com/PaZYfV91Ge</a>—@BlueJays
Rosario had two hits for Minnesota a night after his extra-inning heroics. Jorge Polanco had a two-run single to open the scoring.
Belisle's fifth blown save of the season overshadowed what had been a big bullpen night for Minnesota in relief of starter Jose Berrios.
Berrios continues to pitch well at home
Berrios pitched around five hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings and struck out five. The Puerto Rican right-hander struck out leadoff hitter Richard Urena to leave the bases loaded in the second inning.
The only score against Berrios was on Josh Donaldson's pop-up behind shortstop in the fifth. With one out, Minnesota was playing the infield in and speedy centrefielder Buxton was back against Donaldson. His high pop landed just out of the reach of Buxton and Polanco at shortstop.
Berrios is 9-1 at home with a 2.45 ERA while going 4-6 with a 5.14 ERA on the road this season.
Starter Brett Anderson allowed two runs, five hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings for Toronto, which has played 16 one-run games in its past 30.
Anderson hadn't walked a batter in his first three starts for Toronto. But he walked three batters ahead of Polanco in the fifth.