Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Phil Hughes tossed seven scoreless innings while Kendrys Morales added three RBIs to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday at Rogers Centre.
The win handed the Twins (31-33) a series victory over the Blue Jays in the first leg of their nine-game road trip through Toronto, Detroit and Boston. They also improved to 12-6 against the American League East this year.
Hughes (7-2) rebounded from a rough outing against the Houston Astros to turn in his ninth quality start over his last 10 outings. He scattered seven hits, and he didn’t walk a batter for the eighth time over his last 10 starts while setting a season high with nine strikeouts.
Blue Jays rookie right-hander Marcus Stroman (3-1) had another quality start but was still saddled with the loss after allowing three runs on nine hits with no walk and four strikeouts as the Blue Jays slipped to 39-28 after losing four of their last five games.
Hughes was handed an early lead as Josh Willingham crushed a two-run homer in the first inning off Stroman. The homer was the fifth of the season for Willingham, and it reached the second deck in left field.
The Twins didn’t score again until the sixth, when Morales opened the inning with a double to center field. He came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Trevor Plouffe after a single from Oswaldo Arcia.
Morales broke the game open with a three-run double in the seventh off reliever Bobby Korecky with one out, his first RBIs with the Twins for a 6-0 lead. Willingham added his third RBI on a single in the ninth.
Toronto didn’t get on the board until the eighth inning on an RBI double from Jose Bautista off reliever Jared Burton. Dioner Navarro added a two-out RBI single, but it was too little, too late for the Blue Jays, who went just 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.