The Toronto Blue Jays will turn to right-hander Kevin Gausman as they try to salvage a split of their four-game series with the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins on Sunday in Minneapolis.
Gausman (8-8, 3.06 ERA) is coming off his finest outing of the season, when he blanked the Tampa Bay Rays on one hit while striking out 10 over eight innings in a 3-1 victory Tuesday. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth but lost it when Taylor Wells led off with a single.
“He was locating his heater,” Toronto interim manager John Schneider said. “He was nasty. When he puts that where he wants it in the zone with his split, he’s really, really tough to hit. He was just basically dominant.”
That hasn’t been the case when it comes to facing the Twins, however. Gausman is 0-4 with a 7.30 ERA in eight career starts against them. He struggled in an 8-6 loss to the Twins in Toronto on June 5 when he allowed five runs (three earned) on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings.
Minnesota bounced back from a 9-3 loss in the series opener on Thursday to defeat the Blue Jays 6-5 in 10 innings on Friday and 7-3 on Saturday. The Twins will turn to right-hander Chris Archer (2-5, 4.05) in the series finale.
Archer hasn’t won in four starts since allowing one hit over five innings in a 6-0 shutout of Colorado on June 25. He picked up a no-decision in his most recent start on Tuesday, a 5-3 loss to Detroit, when he yielded two runs on two hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings while striking out a season-high eight batters.
This will be Archer’s 26th career start against the Jays. He is 7-4 with a 3.01 ERA against them but hasn’t faced them since 2018.
The Twins made it back-to-back wins over the Blue Jays on Saturday with rookie Jose Miranda hitting his 11th homer of the season to go along with a double and AL batting leader Luis Arraez (.325) going 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI.
“There was a lot of good stuff going on out there today,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said after the game. “When you pitch good and make the plays and have good at-bats and bring some guys in and find different ways to score and keep scoring, those are all parts of the equation that we’re looking for, and we got them all today at the same time. We put some things together to make it happen, and I couldn’t be happier with what I saw.”
Toronto lost for just the fifth time in 17 games. The Blue Jays announced before the game that center fielder George Springer was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Friday, with a right-elbow injury that will require an anti-inflammatory shot. Left-handed reliever Tim Mayza will join Springer on the injured list after departing in the sixth inning with a dislocated right shoulder suffered while trying to tag Nick Gordon at the plate on a safety squeeze play.
“If anything, he’s shown he’s resilient coming off injuries before and we’ll have him down the stretch,” Schneider said of Mayza, who left the clubhouse with his right (non-throwing) arm in a sling. “He’s been huge. Other guys have to step up in his spot for a little bit.”
–Field Level Media