From up six to down two, Twins allow big rally to Blue Jays

TORONTO – As Carlos Santana crossed home plate after his third-inning home run Saturday, his second in two days, Carlos Correa pretended to place his own helmet on Santana's head, in order to "protect" him from the sausage that was about to be tossed at him.

He had, after all, been beaned in the helmet by the Twins' lucky meat product a day earlier.

"This time, I see the salchica," Santana said, after joking on Friday that Ryan Jeffers' throw had given him a concussion. "Last night, a little bit fun."

When Santana's 411-foot blast disappeared over the center-field fence, the Twins thought Saturday would be a party, too, since the home run gave them a six-run lead against Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman. But that lead evaporated under a relentless stream of hits, and Toronto pulled out a 10-8 victory at Rogers Centre that ended the Twins' seven-game road winning streak.

The Blue Jays hammered three home runs, handed Twins starter Simeon Woods Richardson the worst outing of his brief major league career and scored five runs in three innings off the Twins bullpen.

After posting a 2.67 ERA in April, Twins relievers have given up 26 runs in 31 innings in May, a 7.55 ERA that's worse than every team but, ironically enough, the Blue Jays' — whose own bullpen pitched six nearly spotless innings Saturday, retiring 17 of the final 18 Twins they faced.

"We couldn't get any easy or quick outs of any kind, and you could give their lineup some credit. They hit some balls good," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "They found the barrel a lot. … They came back at us hard."

They did, with Bo Bichette and Davis Schneider each pummeling changeups from Woods Richardson over the left-field wall, and Danny Jansen launching another off a Cole Sands fastball.

"They were both the right pitch calls, but not the right location," Woods Richardson said of the first two homers he's given up this season, including the minor leagues. "It's all about execution. If we execute and do our job, better results will happen."

Just like they did for the Twins against Gausman, who finished third in AL Cy Young Award voting last year and had given up only two earned runs in his previous 24 innings. Gausman has never beaten the Twins in Toronto, owning a 7.09 ERA against them here.

So perhaps it wasn't a shock when the Twins turned four singles and a fielding error by Schneider in left field into three first-inning runs, or when Trevor Larnach singled home Santana in the second inning. The Twins poured it on with Santana's three-run homer in the third, opening a 7-1 lead and knocking Gausman out after three innings.

BOXSCORE: Toronto 10, Twins 8

But Toronto never gave up, putting runners on base in all eight innings. Five relievers pitched for the Twins, and each gave up at least one hit, while six Blue Jays players drove in runs.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 4-for-5 against the Twins' pitching carousel, with four sharply hit ground-ball singles, including a two-out, bases-loaded hit past a diving Correa to tie the score in the sixth inning.

No. 9 hitter Ernie Clement then broke the tie an inning later, singling up the middle to score Jansen and give the Blue Jays a 9-8 lead. A 10th run scored on Schneider's sacrifice fly.

Guerrero "is a great player. He's on the cover of 'MLB The Show' [video game] for a reason," Woods Richardson said. "He's a great competitor, a great guy. But I tried to give him my best stuff and he just put some good swings on it. That's baseball."