MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Heading toward another losing season, the Minnesota Twins have been left to hold out for the hope that comes from a highly regarded group of prospects.
The rookies at least provided Minnesota a temporary bright spot, but even a rare show of power wasn't enough in a loss on Friday.
Rookies Chris Colabello and Josmel Pinto homered for the Twins, but former Minnesota knuckleballer R.A. Dickey pitched into the seventh inning for Toronto, and the Blue Jays hung on for a 6-5 victory on Friday night.
"We were excited," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Pinto's first major-league home run. "We were excited when Colabello hit his too just to get us within reach. Guys were fired up."
Colabello homered for the third time in four games and has credited a swing adjustment in the cages with allowing him to cover the plate and catch up to fastballs.
His seventh home run of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh inning, helped Minnesota climb within 6-3 after the Blue Jays scored five runs in the third inning off Twins starter Mike Pelfrey (5-11).
But Colabello, the International League MVP despite playing only 89 games for Triple-A Rochester, struck out with two runners on in the eighth ending another rally. Colabello had two hits and two RBIs Friday and has hit .421 with seven RBIs over the past four games.
"The first pitch at the beginning I got a little big with the swing, obviously after facing a guy who's not quite overpowering your first three at-bats," Colabello said of his final at-bat.
"Obviously I would have liked to have got myself in a little bit better situation than having to go 0-2. I'd say I didn't really get much to hit that at-bat, but I think I would have liked to have had a little bit better at-bat in general."
Pinto brought the Twins within one with a powerful solo homer to lead off the ninth inning against Toronto closer Casey Janssen.
One of the better prospects in Minnesota's system, Pinto has hit 9 of 14 in his first four major-league games.
"He's a pretty exciting kid," Gardenhire said. "He's learning. ... But the swing you see. He's got a really nice, short compact swing. He's got pop and he's battling and doing a decent job behind the plate with these guys that he's trying to learn."
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