The Toronto Blue Jays clearly were not amused by how they started the season.
The resurgent Blue Jays will look to run their winning streak to a season-high four games when they play the middle game of their series at the Metrodome against the Minnesota Twins.
Toronto got off to a franchise-worst 3-11 start before winning the final game of their series with visiting Boston. The Blue Jays then won the final two games of their weekend series in Baltimore.
They kept their roll going on Monday as Ted Lilly became just the second Blue Jays starting pitcher to win a game this season, tossing a two-hitter in a 6-1 win over the Twins.
Batista has alternated poor and solid outings since signing a $13.1 million, three-year contract with Toronto in the offseason. He was fairly effective against Boston on Thursday, allowing three earned runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings in Toronto’s 7-3 victory.
Aside from improved starting pitching, the Blue Jays are also getting contributions from some of their best hitters and their bullpen.
The Blue Jays, who are expected to be as dangerous offensively as AL East co-favorites Boston and the New York Yankees, have scored 26 runs in their last three games.
“We’re starting to show what kind of offensive team we can be,” Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca said.
Carlos Delgado, who finished second in last year’s AL MVP voting, appears to have finally put his early struggles behind him. He went 7-for-12 during the weekend series at Baltimore, has an extra-base hit in his last six games and is batting .440 (11-for-25) with a home run and six RBIs in his last seven games.
Prior to Lilly’s stellar effort on Monday, Toronto’s relievers were sixth in the AL with a 3.65 ERA in a league-leading 60 appearances.
“They’re all really professional and they enjoy what they do,” Tosca said. “I’m lucky to have them.”
Despite Monday’s loss, the Twins have won nine of 12.
Twins second baseman Luis Rivas is suffering through a dreadful 0-for-19 slump. In 15 games this season, Rivas has drawn just two walks and is batting .197. He’s grounded into six double plays, second-most in the AL.
“Every time you get into a slump, you try to get out of it as quick as you can,” said Rivas, a career .261 hitter in five season with the Twins. “Sometimes, it’s going to be easy. Sometimes, it’s going to be hard. You never know.”