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10/02/2012 10:49 PM EDT
Jenkins earns first win as Blue Jays beat Twins
TORONTO 4, MINNESOTA 3
TORONTO (AP) -- Joe Mauer's bid for a fourth AL batting title
took a blow on Tuesday night.
Chad Jenkins earned his first major league win, Kelly Johnson
hit a two-run home run and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the
Minnesota Twins 4-3.
Mauer, who won AL batting titles in 2006, 2008 and 2009, went
hitless in three at-bats, dropping his average to .320.
Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, meanwhile, picked up two more hits
Tuesday after a four-hit showing Monday, boosting his
league-leading average to .331. Angels rookie Mike Trout is
"Unless (Mauer) goes 9 for 9 tomorrow, he might not be able to
catch (Cabrera)," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Mauer acknowledged his chances look dim, but didn't intend to
give up his chase and sit out the final game.
"A little disappointing, yeah, but I'll go out there and try to
get some hits tomorrow," he said.
Wednesday's season finale also offers Mauer a chance to play his
147th game, a career high. His success this season has brought
redemption after he was limited to 82 games because of injuries
in 2011, hitting a career-low .287.
"I'm definitely proud of how many games I've played," Mauer
said. "It's been a battle but it's been pretty good."
Mauer's teammates have been pulling for him, too.
"We know how hard he's worked to come back after having an
injury plagued season last year," outfielder Denard Span said.
Making his third career start, Jenkins (1-3) allowed two runs
and five hits in five-plus innings. The right-hander walked one
and struck out two.
"There were parts of this year where I honestly wasn't sure
whether I was going to get here," Jenkins said. "Fortunately the
Blue Jays gave me a chance and now I'm just trying to run with
Gardenhire said Jenkins kept the Twins off balance with late
movement on his fastball.
"Nice looking whip on the ball," Gardenhire said. "Our hitters
talked about some late jump. You can see the ball OK off him but
with that late jump, we didn't really square him up too many
Aaron Loup, Steve Delabar and Darren Oliver all worked one
inning before Casey Janssen finished for his 22nd save in 25
Minnesota's fourth straight defeat, combined with Cleveland's
victory over the White Sox, ensured that the Twins will finish
with the AL's worst record for the second straight year. They
went 63-99 in 2011.
The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the third when Adeiny
Hechavarria led off with a double and came around on a single by
Toronto tacked on two more in the fourth. J.P. Arencibia hit a
two-out single and Johnson followed with a homer to right-center
off Anthony Swarzak, his 16th.
Johnson's shot came one at-bat after he was caught looking in
the second for his 159th strikeout of the season, matching Jose
Canseco's team record set in 1998.
Toronto used speed on the bases to open a 4-0 lead in the fifth.
Anthony Gose drew a one-out walk and was running when Davis
grounded to short. Gose went all the way to third as Davis was
thrown out, and scored when Yunel Escobar followed with a base
hit to left.
The Twins cut the deficit in half and chased Jenkins in the
sixth. Eduardo Escobar led off with a single and Span swatted a
two-run homer to right, his fourth.
Loup came on and gave up a single to Ben Revere. But Mauer
struck out, Revere was caught stealing and Chris Parmalee
Minnesota made it 4-3 with a run in the seventh off Delabar.
Trevor Plouffe led off with a double, moved to third on a
groundout and scored on a two-out double by Alexi Casilla.
Starting in place of Samuel Deduno, who left his last outing
with an irritated left eye, Swarzak (3-6) gave up four runs and
five hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out two.
"I think he got a little bit tired," Gardenhire said of Swarzak,
who had not started since May 25. "He made pitches and gave us
NOTES: Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion (sore left shoulder
and neck) did not start for the second straight game. ... Revere
had three singles but was picked off first base in both the
sixth and eighth. ... Twins reliever Luis Perdomo was struck by
Davis' comebacker in the eighth but remained in the game. ...
Toronto manager John Farrell said he expects his coaching staff
to return intact next season. ... Minnesota fell to 26-27 in
one-run games. ... Twins LHP Scott Diamond (12-8) faces RHP
Brandon Morrow (9-7) in Wednesday's season finale. Diamond, who
was born in nearby Guelph, Ontario, will be pitching in Toronto
for the first time.
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