Jansen, Springer homer, Blue Jays beat Twins, keep pressure

Sep 26, 2021, 3:07 AM | Updated: 3:58 pm
Toronto Blue Jays' George Springer, right, celebrates his home run with Marcus Semien in the fifth ...

Toronto Blue Jays' George Springer, right, celebrates his home run with Marcus Semien in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

(AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Danny Jansen hit a go-ahead, three-run homer, George Springer also went deep and the Blue Jays beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 Sunday to maintain pressure in the AL wild-card race before heading to Toronto for their final homestand.

Toronto will enter the final week one game back for the second AL wild card. The New York Yankees and Boston were tied for the wild-card lead heading into their game on Sunday night.

Toronto won the final two games of the four-game series. The Blue Jays host three-game series against New York and Baltimore.

“We just have to win,” said Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo. “I’m so proud of this team, to be where we are right now. They deserve all the credit.”

Alek Manoah (8-2) won his third straight start, giving up two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts and two walks. The rookie has 25 strikeouts in his last three outings.

Manoah and three relievers combined to strike out 15.

“You want to show up and you want to give the team a chance, because right now everything’s a little stick,” Manoah said. “You’ve got to go out there and compete and just understand what’s at stake.”

The Blue Jays head home to the Rogers Centre in Toronto, which was recently allowed to double the capacity for games. That means 30,000 fans will be there when the Blue Jays take on the Yankees in a pivotal series.

“I think everybody’s excited for it,” Jensen said. “We’re going to play the big dogs, and we’re going to play them at home in front of 30,000 fans. That’s a huge thing, having those fans.”

Griffin Jax (3-5) gave up four runs and six hits in five innings as the Twins lost their second in a row following a four-game winning streak.

“At every point, really, we felt like we were absolutely in the game,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

Jansen homered in the second after a pair of one-out bloop singles by Corey Dickerson to left and Santiago Espinal to center.

Jake Cave hit an RBI single in the bottom half.

Springer homered in the fifth, a drive that like Jansen’s went into the bullpen in left-center field. Both players put on Toronto’s home run jacket — the Blue Jays have hit a major league-high 248.

Springer’s homer was his second in as many days after going homerless in 12 straight games.

Teoscar Hernández hit an RBI double in the eighth and leads the major leagues with 112 RBIs, including a big league high 64 since the All-Star break.

Byron Buxton homered in the fifth, his career-best 16th in just 55 games this season.

“He’s been basically the best player in baseball for the time he’s had on the field,” Baldelli said of Buxton. “Buck’s a great player. We see it every day when he’s out here.”


Blue Jays: LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who injured his right hand Tuesday, remains day-to-day. Montoyo said Gurriel has a large cut on his hand where he grips the bat. “We’ll see how he is by Tuesday,” Montoyo said.

Twins: RHP Joe Ryan, who was placed on the bereavement list on Saturday, is scheduled to return to the rotation Thursday when he’ll start against the Detroit Tigers. “We don’t want him coming back and rushing him back into his start off of just playing catch while he’s away,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We want to make sure he’s able to settle in, throw a bullpen at some point when he returns and be ready to go.”


Blue Jays: RHP Hyun Jin Ryu (13-9) appears likely to start against the Yankees and RHP Jameson Taillon (8-6, 4.41).

Twins: Minnesota opens a series Tuesday against Detroit.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kyle Wright throws during the first inning of the team's baseball g...
Associated Press

Pitchers across MLB throw final bullpen pitches full bore

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Atlanta Braves ace Kyle Wright treats his last 10 or so warmup pitches as if he’s already facing an opponent in the opening inning. Madison Bumgarner lets his final few bullpen tosses fly with far more intensity than at first pitch. Miami’s Jesús Luzardo takes a moment to briefly step off […]
14 hours ago
FILE - East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill motions to his players during the second half of the team...
Associated Press

ACC coaches counting on beefed-up staffs to steer programs

Natrone Means first arrived at North Carolina to play for Mack Brown as a promising running back, then went on to an NFL career that included a touchdown-scoring appearance in the Super Bowl. More than three decades later, he’s again working to help Brown’s Tar Heels, though now in the kind of supporting role expanding […]
14 hours ago
Baltimore Orioles first baseman Ryan Mountcastle waits for a pitch to the Toronto Blue Jays during ...
Associated Press

Orioles rally past Blue Jays 5-4 in doubleheader opener

BALTIMORE (AP) — Terrin Vavra hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Baltimore Orioles to a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday. It was the first career homer for Vavra, and it capped Baltimore’s rally from a 4-0 deficit. […]
14 hours ago
Los Angeles Angels interim manager Phil Nevin walks to the mound to pull starting pitcher Tucker Da...
Associated Press

Angels keep Phil Nevin as manager for 2023 on 1-year deal

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels have hired Phil Nevin as manager for the 2023 season, removing his interim title and giving him a one-year contract Wednesday before the final game of the regular season. The Angels will miss the playoffs for an eighth straight year. Nevin was promoted from third-base coach when […]
14 hours ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge follows through on a solo home run, his 62nd of the season, as Texas ...
Associated Press

Fan who caught Aaron Judge’s 62nd HR offered $2M for ball

The owner of a sports memorabilia auction house says he has offered $2 million to the fan who caught Aaron Judge’s American League-record 62nd home run. JP Cohen, president of Memory Lane Inc. in Tustin, California, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he has texted and emailed Cory Youmans, the man who caught Judge’s […]
2 days ago
Iowa State linebacker O'Rien Vance (34) pressures Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels (6) during the f...
Associated Press

College Football Picks: All eyes on … Lawrence, Kansas!

So, about that game of the year … The much-anticipated matchup between Texas A&M and Alabama, after an offseason feud between the team’s championship-winning coaches, is not nearly as interesting as expected. Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies did upset Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide in a similar spot last year. Texas A&M was unranked with two losses when […]
2 days ago
Jansen, Springer homer, Blue Jays beat Twins, keep pressure