The Toronto Blue Jays hold an eight-game winning streak in the series against another leveled competitor from the AL Central – the division’s leading Minnesota Twins.
Here’s a look at the three game series this weekend at the Rogers Center.
Friday, 7:07 p.m. ET / 4:07 p.m. PT (Sportsnet ONE): Minnesota RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (season 1) vs Toronto LHP Yusei Kikuchi (2-1, 3.48 ERA)
Saturday, 3:07PM EST / 12:07PM PT (Sportscent): Minnesota RHB Dylan Bundy (3-2, 4.76 ERA) vs. Toronto RHB Jose Berrios (3-2, 5.62 ERA)
Sunday, 1:37 PM ET / 10:37 AM PT (Sportsnet ONE): Minnesota LHP Devin Smeltzer (2-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Toronto RHB Kevin Gusman (5-3, 2.51 ERA)
The latest on Blue Jays
The Blue Jays (30-20) earned back-to-back wins (their first and second of the season) with an 8-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
Toronto showed, with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. On a day of rest and George Springer with a non-COVID illness, deepen it. Rimmel Tapia scored two goals, and Kavan Biggio came with an important double from the Reserve Bank of India in eighth place, after the White Sox team reduced the difference to 4-3.
Teoscar Hernandez packed his first Homer since May 14, and Alek Manoah pitched another gem, going 7.2 innings while giving up three runs as Toronto led a half-game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the race for the second time at AL East.
However, things weren’t perfect for Blue Jays as rookie Hyun Jin Ryu returned to IL (for 15 days) for the second time this year with a forearm inflammation. Ross Strebling will fill his spot next week in Kansas City.
The latest on twins
Although it was a good start to the season for the Twins (30-23), the tide has recently turned. Minnesota lost four of their five series games in Detroit against the Humble Tigers — culminating in a 3-2 defeat on Thursday.
Dazz Cameron, who scored two goals at home in eighth place, turned the Tigers’ inability to make progress that would hold.
Thursday’s two innings were the only time Minnesota had crossed the home plate in the past three games.
Fortunately for the twins, the Blue Jays helped their cause by putting brooms on the White Sox. Minnesota is 4.5 games ahead of second-placed Cleveland Guardians and five games ahead of Chicago before the weekend.
Like the White Sox, the twins come to Toronto shortened.
Rookie Sonny Gray was scheduled to start first in the opening series on Friday, but he went to IL for 15 days on Thursday with the right bra strain.
Gonzalez, who signed a contract with the team this off-season, will start his first game with the twins at Gray’s place. He is 9-23 with a 5.64 ERA in his Major League career with Texas and Colorado.
Another rookie, Joe Ryan, is on the list of those infected with the COVID-19 virus along with short-term best player Carlos Correa – and to make matters worse, reserve stop rider, Royce Lewis (knee) was injured.
Meanwhile, Do-Yyoung Park of MLB.com Reports The quadruplets will be on the COVID banned list and will not make the trip to Toronto – defender Max Keibler and mitigators Caleb Thilbar, Emilio Pagan and Trevor Miguel.
In better news for the Twins, manager Rocco Baldelli said defender Gilberto Celestino (0.324 average) will meet the Twins on Friday in Toronto after he was on the COVID list.
he said that
“We are very upset, COVID and physically, with various diseases. Even the guys on the field, we are very upset. … just understand that it’s a long season and the teams are in a state of ebb and flow, that’s the way it is.”
– Twins starter Chris Archer to Star Tribune After losing Thursday.
Prius vs the old team
Blue Jays opening player Jose Perrios will be looking to get his season back on track on Saturday against the team that drafted him to 32nd in 2012.
Traded to Toronto by Minnesota last July, the Berrios had a 1-1 (12.2 innings, six runs, 16 strikes, three runs) on September 2 start against the Twins in 2021.
Berrios is coming off a bad run – only 2.1 runs while giving up six runs against the Los Angeles Angels last Sunday.
The Twins spans 18 games in 17 days.
Toronto is in the mid-40s on 41 days — even busier than 30 on 31 earlier this year.
Baldelli and Charlie Montoyo, manager of the Blue Jays, were on Kevin Cash’s Tampa Bay staff before getting their jobs in 2019. The three are still close.
The Blue Jays continue their four-game winning streak against AL Central teams in three games each in Kansas City and Detroit next week. The Tigers and the Royals have the two worst records in the division.