The Toronto Blue Jays have earned plenty of victories in Minneapolis since the start of 2008.
Going for his first victory in 26 starts, Reyes gets his first look at the Minnesota Twins on Saturday when the Blue Jays try to extend their season-high winning streak to four.
Winners of two of three over the visiting Twins to open the season, Toronto (18-20) won for the 10th time in 12 games at Minnesota with Friday’s 2-0 series-opening victory.
“What can you say about Bautista?” said manager John Farrell. “A one-run difference is a huge margin. An extra run keeps them away from the bunt and sacrifice and the small game.”
The Blue Jays’ season-best third straight victory - their eighth in 10 games overall in this matchup - put the major league-worst Twins (12-24) on the verge of their first seven-game skid since an 0-8 stretch July 5-13, 2003.
Toronto continue its five-game trip with Reyes (0-3, 5.00 ERA) trying to record his first victory since June 13, 2008, while with Atlanta.
The left-hander is 0-12 with a 6.11 ERA in his last 25 starts.
“It’s a long streak, I’m sure he’s well aware of it,” Farrell told the Blue Jays’ official website after Reyes yielded five runs and eight hits over seven-plus innings of Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Detroit. “There’s progress being made. He’s gaining confidence with his fastball.”
Reyes will face a Twins team that’s dropped 12 of 15 and is among the worst in the majors in batting (.228) and runs per game with 3.1.
The Twins, who had four singles Friday, will try to avoid their first seven-game home losing streak since Sept. 2-16, 2007, with Nick Blackburn(notes) (2-4, 3.95) making just his third start at Target Field this season. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his last two outings - both on the road. Blackburn went 6 1-3 innings in Monday’s 2-1, 11-inning loss to Boston, allowing just an RBI to Adrian Gonzalez(notes) in the fifth.
“Other than that, I was pretty pleased with the outing,” Blackburn said after striking out five, including three in one inning for the first time in his career.
Blackburn, 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA in three starts against the Blue Jays, helped the Twins snap a three-game skid in this matchup with 5 2-3 innings of two-run ball in a 4-3 road win April 3.
Bautista, 2 for 6 with a homer off the Twins right-hander, is batting .365 - second in the AL - and is 8 for 15 with three homers and five walks off Twins pitching this season.