Twins sweep Blue Jays for 1st playoff series win since 2002

Twins sweep Blue Jays for 1st playoff series win since 2002

The Minnesota Twins defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 on Wednesday to complete a two-game sweep of their American League wild-card series.

The victory marks Minnesota’s first postseason series win since they defeated the Oakland Athletics in 2002. They will take on the defending World Series champion Houston Astros in the ALDS.

A moment 21 years in the making for the @Twins. #CLINCHED

(MLB x @BudweiserUSA) pic.twitter.com/LRSica0uJ7

— MLB (@MLB) October 4, 2023

The Blue Jays have lost seven straight postseason games, tying the Tampa Bay Rays for the longest active streak in the league.

Toronto scored just one run in two games, leaving 17 runners on base. They only had one extra-base hit and didn’t register a single home run.

“One run in two games, one extra-base hit isn’t going to cut it,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said, according to The Associated Press. “They didn’t do much today. Only hit one ball in the air. Some ground balls found some holes. This time of the year, it’s timely hitting.”

What a massive pickoff by the @Twins! #Postseason pic.twitter.com/i4g9ULQmjx

— MLB (@MLB) October 4, 2023

Sonny Gray settled in for the Twins after an uneven start, blanking the Blue Jays over five innings with six strikeouts to earn the win.

The Blue Jays were threatening in the fifth inning with runners at second and third base for All-Star shortstop Bo Bichette. However, Gray picked off first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at second base, ending Toronto’s chances to tie the game.

Following the game, Gray said shortstop Carlos Correa relayed to him that the Blue Jays baserunners couldn’t hear their third base coach because of the crowd noise and that helped his decision to try and pick off Guerrero.

“That’s why he’s special,” Gray said of Correa, according to The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman.

Correa delivered the winning hit with an RBI single off Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kikuchi came on in relief of Blue Jays starting pitcher José Berríos in a controversial decision by manager John Schneider.

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