The Blue Jays can finally breathe a sigh of relief after a much-needed win over hosts Twins

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At Target Field on Friday night against the host Minnesota Twins, the Blue Jays weren’t quite there, but they weren’t that far off either.

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The visitors didn’t do their best but when so much has gone wrong, when so many games have been lost and so many difficult issues have been raised, victory is definitely considered an elixir.

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One game won’t change this side’s fortunes, but a win was a must and at least the Jays didn’t have to explain why they couldn’t beat an AL East rival.

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On the other hand, the twins are not in the same division.

Minnesota’s sluggers were conspicuously quiet, but Toronto’s pitching, and particularly his bullpen, is what helped the Blue Jays earn a 3-1 win.

Nate Pearson, on the other hand, was looking good in a high-leverage situation.

Kevin Gausman rolled until he ran into trouble in the sixth inning, prompting the Jays to replace their starter with substitute Erik Swanson.

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Walks would eventually end Gausman’s excursion.

In his last 10 starts, Gausman ran a total of 11 batters.

He gave out five free passes in 5.1 innings on Friday.

Swanson hadn’t pitched since last weekend when he appeared to have strayed from the point.

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He caught a break when a pitch that was low and outside of the strike zone was called a strike when, on a full count, it should have been called a ball.

Had it been called correctly, the twins would have run in one run after loading the bases.

A routine grounder ended the inning, giving the Twins a run.

Toronto hit its three runs in the third inning with two out homers by Kevin Kiermaier, who hit a solo hit, and a two-run homer by Bo Bichette.

The Jays arrived in the land of 10,000 lakes with a loss that saw them lose nine of their last 11 games and lost back-to-back series to the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles at home and away to Tampa during a four-game streak sentence.

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Toronto’s two wins came from a 10-inning walk-off home run by Danny Jansen against the Bronx Bombers and an epic 20-1 win over the Rays, who resorted to positional play on the mound to finish the last six outs .

In the series finale, the Rays stole more bases than they produced hits with a 6-3 win.

After Toronto’s disheartening defeat, a players-only meeting was held.

“It’s just one of those phases, but unfortunately now it’s all about stopping it,” said Matt Chapman, whose April heatwave cooled significantly in May.

“We defeated teams and then were defeated. We won streaks and then lost a few streaks. We were really inconsistent. It was just up to us as a team to play better. I think that’s it easy. All I can say is that we have to play better.”

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Attention to detail was noticed from the beginning of the training camp, but this eluded the team in the last phase of futility.

“In a perfect world, players drive that, you know what I mean? “They live by it, they have a set of standards that they live by and right now they’re not living up to their expectations,” manager John Schneider said.

“It carries more weight with the players. Of course, I and the staff are here to support this. Personally, I think the message gets a little clearer when players hold themselves accountable and live up to what we expect from them.”

So much for the meeting behind closed doors.

How else can you explain Springer going into a run down after starting the night with a double and Vlad Jr. being substituted first at the end of the first inning in the rarest of double plays?

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It was inexcusable, yet so typical of Toronto’s game that can best be described as sloppy.

As the game progressed, it was the only instance of a self-implosion on a night the Blue Jays played much cleaner and more confident.

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Kevin Gausman of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Target Field on May 26, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by David Berding /Getty Images


The Jays officially placed Jansen on 10-Day IL Friday, a move many expected after the catcher was injured in Tampa while walking out a groundball.

With Jansen acting as his batterymate against Baltimore last weekend, Alek Manoah gave up just one walk.

While it wasn’t entirely Alejandro Kirk’s fault, the Manoah-Kirk tandem seemed out of sync on Thursday against the Rays.

Jansen hasn’t exactly swung a good bat this season, but he’s still hit two home runs and .251s in his last five games.

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To replace Jansen on the active roster, the Blue Jays called up catcher Tyler Heineman from Triple-A Buffalo.

Heineman joined the Jays in Tampa after being placed on the team’s cab crew.

He is known for his game-changing ability and defense.

However, Kirk is expected to take on the burden at the catcher.


Daulton Varsho made a great effort in left field when he dived right and tried to catch a liner.

He couldn’t secure the ball but Varsho tried to hold on to the ball.

The night before raised some eyebrows when Varsho suffered a pinch towards the end of the game for Ernie Clement.

Given the characters, namely Gabriel Moreno and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., that the Jays had sent to Arizona to acquire Varsho, the optics looked poor when the Jays took the bat from Varsho for a journeyman.

Clement hit a run with a sac fly.

In the ninth inning on Friday, Varsho hit a double play.


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