Marcus Semien tied the single-season home run record for second basemen with his 43rd as the Toronto Blue Jays snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night in Minneapolis.
Jays starter Robbie Ray allowed three hits over six innings while picking up his 13th win.
Teoscar Hernandez and George Springer also homered for Toronto (86-69) which remained two games behind the New York Yankees (88-67) and Boston Red Sox (88-67) in the race for the American League’s two wild card spots.
Semien, who also singled, tied Davey Johnson’s big league homer record for second basemen set in 1973 with the Atlanta Braves. It was also his major league-leading 84th extra-base hit of the season.
Ray (13-6), regarded as one of the frontrunners for the AL Cy Young Award, yielded one run on three hits. He walked four and struck out six in winning for the fourth time in his last six starts.
Minnesota (69-86), which had a four-game winning streak snapped, took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Jorge Polanco singled, advanced to second on a walk to Josh Donaldson, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mitch Garver, whose potential extra-base liner to center was backhanded by Springer before crashing into the fence.
Toronto took a 2-1 lead off Twins starter John Gant (5-10) in the second inning. Hernandez led off with his 31st home run of the season, a 439-foot drive into the middle of the batter’s eye in center. Two outs later, Santiago Espinal, who reached on fielder’s choice, came around to score on a double into the right field corner by Randal Grichuk.
Semien made it 3-1 in the sixth with a 407-foot home run to left-center off reliever Luke Farrell. Springer, who was 0-for-22 against the Twins this season, increased the lead to 5-1 an inning later with his 18th homer of the season, a two-run shot into the second deck in left.
The Blue Jays parlayed three singles into a run in the eighth, with pinch-hitter Danny Jansen driving in Hernandez to end the scoring.
--Field Level Media