Minnesota Twins’ Taylor Motter comes up safe stealing second base as Toronto Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel JR. tries to make the tag in the fifth inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto on Tuesday July 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

Escobar homers to back solid Berrios start, Twins topple Blue Jays 5-0

Sagging Toronto side offers little run support for Borucki

TORONTO — Ryan Borucki wasn’t too worried after once again missing out on his first major league win.

The 24-year-old rookie is confident that milestone will come soon enough, especially if he continues to pitch the way he did Tuesday night.

Borucki allowed two runs (both unearned) and six hits and struck out two batters over six innings as the Blue Jays fell 5-0 to the Minnesota Twins.

It was the second time he’d received zero run support in five career starts.

“It’s going to happen sooner or later, hopefully,” Borucki said when asked if he was getting anxious over his winless record.

“As long as I keep doing what I’m doing, keep pitching and trying to keep this team in games as long as I can — it’s going to come. It’s that simple.”

Jose Berrios pitched seven shutout innings for his 10th win of the season and Eduardo Escobar hit a three-run homer to lead Minnesota to its second win over the Blue Jays in as many nights.

Berrios (10-7) allowed four hits, walked one and struck out nine in a 102-pitch performance before relievers Trevor Hildenberger and Ryan Pressly stepped in to keep the shutout intact.

Borucki (0-2) matched Berrios nearly every step of the way, producing his fourth quality starts in five outings and not walking a batter for the second time this season.

A fielding error did him in in the sixth as the Twins (46-53) scored twice after Teoscar Hernandez flubbed a fly ball from Joe Mauer to lead off the frame. Brian Dozier drove in Mauer with a sac fly and Escobar and Robbie Grossman followed with back-to-back doubles to extend the lead to 2-0.

Manager John Gibbons called the Hernandez error “costly.”

But Borucki didn’t place any blame on his teammate’s shoulders.

“He makes plays all the time, I’ve seen him make numerous plays, unbelievable plays,” Borucki said. “It happens, it’s baseball — everyone makes mistakes.

“I made two mistakes today that cost us two runs. Stuff like that happens.”

Borucki had dominated early, retiring the first 10 batters he faced — to the delight of the 31,933 in attendance — before allowing back-to-back base hits with one out in the fourth. He worked out of that jam with two quick outs.

Gibbons has been impressed with Borucki’s ability to get himself out of trouble over his short time in the majors.

“He’s done that many times since he’s come up. He’s had his back against the wall a few times, guys on base and he can get a ground ball or a big strikeout,” Gibbons said. “Yeah, he’s shown me a lot. I think he’s shown everyone that he’s got great poise, great command, he knows what he’s doing.”

Escobar hit his 15th homer of the season in the eighth inning, sending a 3-2 offering from Canadian reliever John Axford over the right-field wall to break open the game.

The Blue Jays (46-54) had just five hits, with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. accounting for two of them. He singled twice to tie Al Woods’ 1997 Toronto record for most multi-hit games by a rookie (seven).

Toronto was shut out for the sixth time this season while losing its third straight to the Twins for the first time since a four-game skid in 2005.

“Berrios is one of the top young pitchers in baseball,” Gibbons said. “You know he’s not going to give up much.”

NOTES: Toronto right-hander Marco Estrada left his rehab start with triple-A Buffalo in the fourth inning Tuesday with a blister on his right middle finger. The team said he’s day to day. … Closer Roberto Osuna had his rehab assignment transferred to triple-A and pitched one inning, allowing two hits, a walk and a strikeout. Osuna is serving a 75-game suspension for violating MLB’s joint domestic violence policy. He was charged with assault in Toronto on May 8 and has not appeared in a MLB game since. … The Blue Jays cap the three-game series against Minnesota Wednesday afternoon.

Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press


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