MINNEAPOLIS — Chris Colabello hit two-run tiebreaking homer in the ninth inning against former teammate Glen Perkins, giving Mark Buehrle and the Toronto Blue Jays a 6-4 victory over the Twins on a soggy Friday night, stopping Minnesota’s five-game winning streak.
Buehrle (6-4) made a drastic recovery from a four-run first inning for his second complete game this season, raising his record in 51 career starts against the Twins to 29-19. Buehrle retired 24 of the last 26 batters he faced, allowing one single. The other reached on an error.
Toronto’s Josh Donaldson homered for the fourth straight game, a three-run shot off Trevor May in the fifth that tied the game.
Perkins (0-1), the major league leader in saves, started fresh in the ninth inning after 10 straight outs by the Blue Jays. Russell Martin drew a walk after falling behind 0-2, and Colabello followed with his dramatic drive into the bullpen behind left-centre field.
A journeyman who languished with independent league teams before making his major league debut at age 29, Colabello set a Twins franchise record with 27 RBIs last April before hurting his thumb and being sent to the minors. The Blue Jays picked him up over the winter, and he’s off to another strong start.
Buehrle has struggled in the first quarter of this season, but this was progress. After Brian Dozier hit his first pitch for a double, Joe Mauer tacked on an RBI single, Torii Hunter added an RBI double and Kurt Suzuki pitched in an RBI single before a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Escobar.
That was it for the Twins, though. Then Buehrle went to work.
May was fresh from the longest outing of his young career, a seven-inning, six-hit, three-run, no-walk, nine-strikeout performance in a win last week against the White Sox in Chicago. The highest-scoring team in the majors posed a stiffer challenge. The Blue Jays have always hit well in this ballpark, a big reason why they went 12-5 in the first five seasons at Target Field.
Donaldson, an All-Star third baseman in 2014 with Oakland who is in his first season with Toronto, drove a one-out changeup on the first pitch he saw into the grassy berm behind centre field to tie the game. Donaldson is batting .405 in 20 career games against the Twins.
The first pitch was pushed back an hour, the second time setback this week for the Twins. Because of afternoon games and the delays, they haven’t taken batting practice on the field in a week. Still, this was only the 16th weather delay in Target Field’s six-year history. They have had 11 games postponed and one suspended.
Toronto: Manager John Gibbons said IF Devon Travis could return next week at Washington, if he continues to make progress on his rehab assignment.
Minnesota: RHP Casey Fien came off the DL to pitch a scoreless eighth. Manager Paul Molitor said Blaine Boyer will remain the primary setup man for now.
Aaron Sanchez (4-4, 3.98 ERA) will make his 10th start of the season for Toronto on Saturday afternoon, seeking his second win in five road starts. Kyle Gibson (4-3, 2.72 ERA) will take the mound for Minnesota for the 10th time this year, too, coming of a career-long-matching eight innings in an 8-1 victory at Chicago last week. Gibson is 3-1 with a 1.32 ERA this month.
Dave Campbell, The Associated Press