Donaldson hits three HRs, Blue Jays beat Twins 9-6
TORONTO (AP) — Midway through his first at-bat Sunday, Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson was hopping around in pain after fouling a ball off his right knee.
From there, he was all smiles.
Donaldson had his first career three-homer game , Troy Tulowitzki also went deep and the Blue Jays beat the Twins 9-6 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Donaldson hit a solo homer off Kyle Gibson in the second, then delivered a go-ahead, two-run blast off Pat Light (0-1) in the seventh.
“It’s one of those things, as a baseball player, you want to happen one day,” Donaldson said. “You don’t know it it’s ever going to happen, it’s kind of a rare thing. I was happy to do it.”
Dozens of fans tossed hats onto the field to celebrate the home run hat trick after Donaldson, the AL MVP in 2015, hit a solo shot off Alex Wimmers in the eighth. Groundskeepers and even the Blue Jays mascot helped clear the hats away. Donaldson came out for a curtain call as the crowd of 47,444 roared their approval.
“I’ve never had a curtain call before so that was nice,” Donaldson said. “I tried to enjoy it for a second. (Encarnacion) was on deck after I hit the third one and he had a huge smile on his face. That kind of brought it into reality a little bit there. ”
Donaldson’s fourth multi-homer game this season and the 10th of his career also marked the 17th three-homer game in the majors this season.
“It doesn’t get any better than that,” manager John Gibbons said. “He’s heating up.”
Jose Bautista had his first three-hit game of the season for the AL East-leading Blue Jays.
Minnesota lost its season-worst 10th straight. The Twins have lost seven straight in Toronto.
“We scored over 20 runs in three games and couldn’t find a way to win one,” manager Paul Molitor said. “It shows you how they’re rolling offensively.”
Scott Feldman (7-4) earned the win by getting two outs in the seventh. Jason Grilli worked the eighth and Roberto Osuna finished.
Twins outfielders Robbie Grossman and Danny Santana collided while chasing a high fly by leadoff batter Bautista in the first. The ball dropped in for a double, and Bautista later scored on a sacrifice fly.
Santana finished the inning but was replaced by Eddie Rosario in the second. Molitor said Santana would be placed on the disabled list with a sprained left left shoulder.
Minnesota led 5-2 after scoring four off R.A. Dickey in the fifth but the Blue Jays cut it to 5-4 in the sixth. Tulowitzki hit a leadoff homer, his 22nd, and Kevin Pillar doubled and scored on a base hit by Devon Travis.
EIGHT IS ENOUGH
The Twins have allowed eight or more runs in a franchise-high six straight games.
The Blue Jays celebrated Canada Baseball Day by wearing red caps and jerseys. Fans received red and white t-shirts.
Twins: Triple-A OF Logan Schafer will join the team in Cleveland Monday to replace Santana.
Blue Jays: Donaldson hopped around in pain after fouling a ball off the outside of his right knee in the first. He was checked by the trainer and stayed in. ... C Josh Thole is expected to be designated for assignment Monday when the Blue Jays add C Dioner Navarro. Thole could return when rosters expand Thursday.
Twins: LHP Hector Santiago (10-8, 5.16) starts the opener of a three-game series at Cleveland on Monday. Santiago has not pitched since Aug. 20 because of a sore left thumb. RHP Trevor Bauer (9-6, 3.88) starts for the Indians.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (7-6, 3.47) faces Orioles LHP Wade Miley (8-10, 5.51) as the Blue Jays begin a three-game series in Baltimore on Monday night. Estrada is 0-2 with an 8.36 ERA in his past three outings.