Bautista, Lawrie lift Blue Jays over Twins 9-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 15, 2014 at 11:53 pm •  Published: April 15, 2014
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Toronto Blue Jays were getting mowed down by Phil Hughes through the first five innings on a chilly night at Target Field, but the big swingers never panicked.

The Jays have a long history of beating up on the former Yankees right-hander, so they knew it was only a matter of time before they got him in his new home in Minnesota.

Jose Bautista had three hits and an RBI, and Brett Lawrie hit a grand slam in the ninth inning to help the Blue Jays beat the Twins 9-3 on Tuesday night.

Edwin Encarnacion had two hits and an RBI, and Aaron Loup (1-0) won in relief of starter Brandon Morrow, who lasted 3 2-3 innings in 35-degree weather. The Blue Jays led 5-2 going into the ninth before Lawrie's towering drive off Jared Burton put it away.

"I think it just took a little bit of getting used to," said Lawrie, who drove in five runs. "We didn't hit (batting practice) today. We just rolled into town, so we kind of just hit in the cages and rolled right out into the game. So it just took a little bit to adjust once we got in the box. Once we got a few hits, it just started snowballing."

Chris Colabello had three hits and an RBI, and Trevor Plouffe hit a solo home run for the Twins. But Hughes (0-1) watched an impressive start go to waste in Toronto's five-run sixth inning.

"He was cruising before that," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I thought the ball was coming out of his hand really good. All of a sudden I think it was three or four hits in a row and I don't know what happened. He just couldn't get a ball where he wanted to and they put some really nice swings on the ball."

Hughes gave up four runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts in five-plus innings, snapping Minnesota's three-game winning streak.

Munenori Kawasaki had two hits, including a double, after being called up from Triple-A Buffalo to help replace Maicer Izturis, who is out for the season with torn ligaments in his left knee. Designated hitter Adam Lind, who had a walk, a single and scored a run, left in the seventh inning with tightness in his lower back.

The Blue Jays have historically hit the ball very well at pitcher-friendly Target Field and they were going against one of their favorite pitchers in Hughes, who faced them many times over the years with the New York Yankees. Toronto hit 15 home runs off Hughes in 116 2-3 innings while he was in pinstripes.

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