Twins score 7 in win to bump Blue Jays back in wild card race
Toronto's Ryan Borucki was suspended 3 games for intentionally hitting Kiermaier
Nick Gordon drove in four runs and Michael Pineda won his third straight start as the Minnesota Twins beat Toronto 7-2 on Thursday night to bump the Blue Jays back in the AL wild-card race.
The loss was especially costly for Toronto, which fell a full game behind New York for the second spot and three games behind wild-card leader Boston. Left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. exited in the fifth inning after teammate Randal Grichuk accidentally stepped on his right hand in the outfield.
Blue Jays starter Steven Matz (13-8) lost for the first time in eight turns, finishing just three innings with seven hits and two walks allowed. He needed 80 pitches to get that far, and Toronto — with manager Charlie Montoyo serving a one-game suspension — turned the game over to the bullpen trailing 2-1.
Teoscar Hernandez tied it in the fourth with his 30th homer off a first-pitch slider from Pineda, but the game unraveled for the Blue Jays in the fifth. Gordon greeted reliever Julian Merryweather with a three-run homer, but there was significant damage done just before that.
On a double by Mitch Garver — who was 3 for 4 with an RBI — to the gap, Grichuk grabbed the ball to make a quick throw to the infield to keep Josh Donaldson from scoring. As Gurriel crouched down to give him space, Grichuk's cleat landed on Gurriel's hand during the follow-through.
Blood was dripping from his middle finger as Grichuk knelt next to him, before a team athletic trainer arrived for assessment and heavily wrapped the hand in a towel before Gurriel walked off. The Blue Jays said X-rays revealed no breaks, but he needed two stitches.
Thomas Hatch, who replaced Matz for the fourth, exited with right hamstring discomfort in the fifth trailing 3-2 right before Gordon broke the game open with his fourth homer of the season.
Borucki and Montoyo suspended
Toronto Blue Jays reliever Ryan Borucki has been suspended for three games by Major League Baseball for intentionally hitting Tampa Bay's Kevin Kiermaier with a pitch in the latest salvo in a spat between the two AL East competitors.
MLB announced the punishment, which includes an undisclosed fine, on Thursday before the Blue Jays began a four-game series at Minnesota. Manager Charlie Montoyo was also suspended for one game and handed an undisclosed fine. He served his punishment immediately.
Borucki appealed the decision by MLB senior vice president Mike Hill, delaying the discipline until completion of the process before MLB special adviser John McHale Jr.