Whit Merrifield scored the winning run on an overturned out call at the plate in the 10th inning to give the Toronto Blue Jays a controversial 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.
Merrifield was initially called out at home on Cavan Biggio's sacrifice fly but Toronto successfully challenged that catcher Gary Sanchez had blocked his path to the plate while taking Tim Beckham's throw from shallow left field. Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli was then ejected for arguing the call as boos rained down at Target Field.
All-Star reliever Jordan Romano (4-3), who allowed the tying run to score in the bottom of the ninth, picked up the win with a 1-2-3 10th.
Teoscar Hernandez went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, Bo Bichette doubled and drove in a run and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. extended his career-best on-base streak to 20 games with two hits and an RBI single for Toronto, which snapped a two-game losing streak and gained a split of its four-game series with the Twins.
American League batting leader Luis Arraez went 3-for-5 with an RBI -- his second straight three-hit game -- and Jose Miranda, Jorge Polanco and Sanchez each finished with two hits for Minnesota. Caleb Thielbar (2-1) was tagged with the loss.
Toronto took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Hernandez led off with a ground single to left and Bichette lined a double to the wall in right-center.
The Blue Jays extended their lead to 2-0 in the third. Biggio led off with a double off the scoreboard in right-center and scored on Gurriel's single to center.
Minnesota cut the lead to 2-1 in the eighth inning against reliever Yimi Garcia. Polanco led off with a single to right and advanced to second one out later on a balk by Garcia. Miranda then drove in Polanco with a single to center, the first run allowed by Garcia since June 15 against Baltimore, a span that covered 12 games.
The Twins tied it in the bottom of the ninth against Romano, who hit pinch-hitter Carlos Correa to open the inning. Beckham pinch-ran for Correa, advanced to third on a one-out single by Sanchez and then scored on a single to right by Arraez setting the stage for the controversial finish.
Toronto starter Kevin Gausman, who had compiled an 0-4 record and a 7.30 ERA in eight career starts against Minnesota, scattered five hits over six shutout innings. He didn't walk a batter and struck out five. Gausman, who flirted with a no-hitter in his previous start at Tampa Bay on Tuesday, has allowed seven hits and no runs over 14 innings in his last two starts with 15 strikeouts.
--Field Level Media