Pelfrey, Twins break losing streaks

Chris Toman, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- The Minnesota Twins were due to win, and so was starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey.
Both delivered to help the Twins snap a six-game losing streak and win for the first time in Toronto since April 3, 2011.
Pelfrey recorded his first victory in nine starts by pitching six scoreless innings and Brian Dozier provided the offense with four runs batted in, including a three-run home run, to power Minnesota to a 6-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday at Rogers Centre.
Dozier's three-run home run was his eighth of the season and the four RBIs marked a career high. He also extended his hitting streak to six games with a leadoff single in the first.
Pelfrey, making his first start since coming off the disabled list (back strain), didn't allow a run for the first time this season, and held the Blue Jays (42-45) to a season-low three hits while walking three and striking out two.
He helped the Twins (37-47) record their fourth shutout of the season, and first since June 4 at Kansas City.
"The ball was moving a lot," said Pelfrey, who said he tweaked his left groin in the first inning. "It was kind of changing your eyesight and target, and then once I slowed my tempo down a little bit I was able to get on top of the ball and make pitches."
The right-hander walked the bases loaded in the first inning but escaped the jam and it was smooth sailing from there.
It was the fourth consecutive start in which Pelfrey has gone at least six innings in what was his fourth quality start of the season.
"We couldn't get anything going, that's the bottom line," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We had that opportunity, it was really our only opportunity in the first, and came up empty."
Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey (8-9) had a season-high three-game winning streak snapped and was charged with six runs on seven hits over seven innings.
It marked the seventh time this season Dickey has surrendered at least six runs in a game. The knuckleballer walked two and struck out three batters.
Dickey put the Blue Jays in an early hole by surrendering three runs in the third inning, but settled down until Dozier's blast put the game out of reach in the seventh.
The Twins sent seven men to the plate in the third and Dickey needed 32 pitches to escape the inning. Jamey Carroll hit an RBI double and Joe Mauer followed with an RBI single after Dozier drove in the first run of the game with a groundout to second.
"I've got to do a better job of making good pitches with runners in scoring position, in particular," Dickey said.
Toronto has lost four of its last five games at home and nine of 13 overall after winning 11 consecutive games, which matched a franchise record.
Minnesota won for the second time in its last 10 games and snapped a nine-game losing streak to the American League East in front of a crowd of 37,034.
"We went out and everybody was running around, the dugout was hooting and hollering and it was a little bit better atmosphere," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Blue Jays third baseman Maicer Izturis matched a season high with three hits. Shortstop Jose Reyes had an eight-game hitting streak snapped by going at 0-for-4.
Caleb Thielbar, Jared Burton and Glen Perkins each threw a scoreless inning of relief for the Twins. Thielbar has gone 17 appearances without allowing a run to start his major league career, the first player to do so since Joe Smith of the New York Mets in 2007.
"It was a great pitching effort," Mauer said. "To shut that team out is pretty good."
Toronto reliever Juan Perez pitched a scoreless inning of relief, extending his streak to 18 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run to start his career, which ranks second on the club's all-time list.
NOTES: Twins left fielder Oswaldo Arica exited the game in the eighth inning because of a right hand contusion and had an X-ray that came back negative. He was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. ... The Blue Jays reinstated right-hander Kyle Drabek from the 60-day disabled list and optioned him to Class A Dunedin. Drabek had been on the disabled list recovering from his second Tommy John surgery. ... The six-game losing streak the Twins carried into Saturday's game was their second longest of the season. ... Blue Jays outfielder Rajai Davis snapped an 0-for-17 streak with a single in the fourth inning. The hitless streak was his longest of the season. ... Twins LHP Scott Diamond will oppose Blue Jays RHP Todd Redmond on Sunday in the series finale.

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