Blue Jays take advantage of Twins' wild pitches in 10-inning win
Kendrys Morales leads Toronto with pair of home runs
Twelve years into his major league career, Toronto Blue Jays slugger Kendrys Morales has the self-assurance to endure a weeklong slump.
The Minnesota Twins are starting to lose some of theirs, more than one month into this once-promising season.
Morales homered twice and reached base all five times he batted, including an intentional walk in the 10th inning when the Blue Jays scored twice on wild pitches by Twins reliever John Curtiss and sped away with a 7-4 victory on Tuesday night.
"I've been feeling pretty good. Things were just not going the way I wanted, but confidence has always been there," Morales said through an interpreter after ending a career high-tying hitless streak of 21 at-bats and raising his batting average 48 points to .208.
The bullpen finished with five scoreless innings for the Blue Jays, with Tyler Clippard (4-0) taking the ninth for the win and Roberto Osuna working the 10th for his eighth save in nine tries. The Blue Jays are 14-0 when leading after eight innings, with a relief ERA of 2.16 that's the second-best in the major leagues.
The Twins, who've tumbled through an alarming two weeks after leaving Puerto Rico with an 8-5 record , have lost 11 of their last 12 games.
"We're kind of getting what we deserve in some ways," an unusually irritated manager Paul Molitor said. "We're not finding ways to play clean baseball, and it's been biting us big time."
Eddie Rosario put the Twins in front 4-3 in the sixth with a two-run homer , before a sacrifice fly by Kevin Pillar tied the game in the eighth against Addison Reed. Pillar, whose last 10 hits have been for extra bases, then led off the 10th against Curtiss (0-1) with a double.
Morales was walked with one out. After Pillar swiped third, Morales moved up with his first stolen base since Oct. 2, 2009, when Curtiss ducked late and catcher Mitch Garver didn't throw. Luke Maile walked to load the bases, and Pillar came home on a wild pitch before Maile did the same. Another run scored between them on an infield single by Aledmys Diaz that was bobbled by shortstop Gregorio Petit.
Curtiss was sent to Triple-A Rochester after the game.
"It just kind of seems how it's been going, just days and stretches where it doesn't matter who you throw out there, it just seems like some crazy things are going to happen," Twins starter Kyle Gibson said.