The Toronto Blue Jays have won 11 of 14, thanks in large part to leading the majors in home runs and extra-base hits.
A critical homer of their own helped the Minnesota Twins avoid being swept over the weekend.
The Blue Jays go for their fifth straight win when they begin a two-game series against the visiting Twins on Monday night.
Toronto (23-16) continued to roll offensively over the weekend, sweeping three games from Texas by a combined score of 27-12. The Rangers scored 10 of those runs in Friday’s series opener, managing 14 hits over the next two games.
Toronto won the finale 5-2 despite having three hits Sunday. Two of those were for extra bases, though, with John Buck(notes) hitting a bases-clearing double in a four-run fourth inning and Jose Bautista(notes) hitting his third home run of the series in the sixth. Buck’s hit was reviewed to see if it was a home run, but the on-field call stood.
“The way it felt on the bat, it didn’t feel like it was a home run,” Buck said. “I wanted the umpire to tell me it was out first, because I didn’t believe it.”
The Blue Jays hit eight homers in the series to help them finish with 14 of their 28 hits for extra bases. They lead the majors with 60 home runs and 169 extra-base hits.
Buck, who was 4 for 8 over the weekend, is batting .440 during an eight-game hitting streak. Bautista went 6 for 10 against the Rangers.
A late home run helped the Twins (23-14) hold onto their 1 1/2-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central. After losing the first two, they won the finale of their series against New York 6-3 on Sunday as Jason Kubel(notes) hit a grand slam off Mariano Rivera(notes) in the eighth.
“It’s a pretty good feeling,” said Kubel, whose team had lost 10 straight in the Bronx. “It’s an even better feeling that we finally beat them.”
Minnesota has dropped six of 10 on the road and plays a two-game set in Boston following this series.
The Twins will hand the ball to Kevin Slowey(notes) (4-3, 4.62 ERA), who lost his last start after back-to-back wins. He gave up five runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 5-2 defeat to Chicago on Tuesday.
The right-hander is 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in four starts against the Blue Jays. Travis Snyder, who missed the last two games with a right wrist injury but is expected back Monday, is 4 for 5 with two homers against Slowey.
The left-hander is 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three games—one start—against the Twins.