Correa’s 2nd career grand slam keys 7-run 8th, Twins beat Blue Jays 9-4

TORONTO (AP) — Carlos Correa hit his second career grand slam, Max Kepler and Trevor Larnach also homered and the Minnesota Twins scored seven runs in the eighth inning to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 Saturday.

Minnesota, which leads the AL Central with a 33-32 record, scored seven runs its previous five games.

“We needed that as a team,” Correa said of the seven-run outburst. “We needed to put great at bats together like that. We’ve been waiting for that for the past week. It came at the right time.”

Newly promoted Edouard Julien reached base three times and Donovan Solano had three hits as the Twins won for the 13th time in their past 17 games at Rogers Centre. Minnesota has homered in 16 consecutive games in Canada.

Jorge López (2-2) pitched a one-hit seventh as the Twins won their second straight after a five-game skid.

Adam Cimber (0-2) lost for the second straight day, giving up six runs and five hits while getting just one out.

“It’s a bunt single and a broken-bat single, and things unraveled from there,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said.

Cimber entered with a 3-1 lead and gave up three straight hits to Michael A. Taylor, Julien and Solano starting the eighth. He struck out Alek Kirilloff, then allowed Correa’s eighth home run this season.

“That felt really good,” Correa said. “I’m not going to lie. Bases loaded, we’re down. To just turn the game upside down like that, it was a great one.”

Correa is batting 366 with four home runs and 16 RBIs in 10 games in Toronto.

“That’s what you’re looking for from your big boys, and he’s a big boy,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

Larnach singled and Cimber left after hitting Willi Castro with a pitch. Kepler greeted right-hander Mitch White with a drive into the right-field bullpen for his seventh home run.

“The situation compounded in our favor really nicely because our at bats were good,” Baldelli said.

Minnesota trailed 3-0 before Larnard homered off Bowden Francis in the seventh.

Toronto built its lead on RBI singles by Whit Merrifield in the second and Vladimir Guerrero in the third, and Nathan Lukes’ sacrifice fly in the fifth — his first big league RBI. Lukes replaced Brandon Belt, who grabbed at his left hamstring while scoring on Guerrero’s hit. The Blue Jays said Belt had a tight hamstring.

Twins starter Joe Ryan allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.

Right-hander Trevor Richards became the sixth Blue Jays pitcher to start a game this season, striking out seven over three shutout innings. Richards took the spot of struggling former All-Star Alek Manoah, demoted to the Florida Complex League after failing to get out of the first inning against Houston on Monday.


Twins: Julien was recalled from Triple-A to replace lNF Jorge Polanco, who was placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to Friday, because of a strained left hamstring.

Blue Jays: OF Kevin Kiermaier didn’t start for the second straight game. Kiermaier left Thursday’s game after being hit on the left wrist by a pitch. He pinch ran in the 10th inning Friday.


Correa’s first career grand slam came July 27, 2019 against St. Louis, when he played for Houston.


Blue Jays 3B Matt Chapman made a diving catch on Kirilloff’s leadoff liner in the fourth.


Blue Jays RHP Kevin Gausman (5-3, 2.63) faces Twins RHP Louie Varland (3-2, 4.40) as Toronto tries to avoid a sweep in Sunday’s series finale. Gausman has won three straight starts and is unbeaten since May 4 at Boston.


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