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Twins’ offense held mostly quiet in loss to Blue Jays

Minnesota mustered just 5 hits in the loss

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer (left) celebrates his double against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning May 26, 2023, in Minneapolis.
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer (left) celebrates his double against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning May 26, 2023, in Minneapolis.
Nick Wosika / USA Today Sports

Louie Varland did his job, limiting the potent Toronto Blue Jays offense to just three runs across his six innings of work. The bullpen — in this case Emilio Pagan and Jose De Leon — did its job, as well, throwing three scoreless innings after Varland’s departure to keep the team within striking distance.

So, too, did the defense, cutting down a couple of runners trying to score.

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The offense?

Well, it was another quiet day at the plate for the Minnesota Twins, who, despite drawing nine walks, were unable to push runs across the plate. The Twins fell 3-1 to the Blue Jays on Friday night in the series opener at Target Field, finishing the day with just five hits.

Kyle Garlick drove in their only run in the game on an RBI double that left fielder Daulton Varsho dove at, got his glove on and just couldn’t grasp. Alex Kirilloff, who had walked to lead off the sixth inning, came around to score.

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But the Twins weren’t able to do anything else in that inning, despite Blue Jays pitchers walking three batters.

Center fielder Michael A. Taylor looked at strike three, a pitch that appeared to be ball four, but home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman felt otherwise. Donovan Solano grounded out after that, as the Twins’ bases-loaded woes continued.

The Twins’ inability to convert on their chances meant that the three runs the Blue Jays scored off Varland in the third inning were more than enough.

Minnesota Twins pitcher Louie Varland delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning May 26, 2023, in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Twins pitcher Louie Varland delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning May 26, 2023, in Minneapolis.
Nick Wosika / USA Today Sports

After collecting the first two outs of the third inning, Kevin Kiermaier got ahold of a slider and took it out to right field. The next batter, George Springer, sent a double to right, and Bo Bichette followed by depositing another slider over the outfield wall, this one to center field.

Varland was helped by his defense over the course of his start.

In the first inning, shortstop Carlos Correa fielded a ball, caught Springer off third base in a rundown, charged toward him and tagged him and then threw to first to get Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who had taken a wide turn, for an inning-ending double play. And in the fifth, third baseman Kyle Farmer threw out Kiermaier trying to score at the plate, halting what would have been the Jays’ fourth run.

But the efforts — of Varland, of the bullpen, of the defense — ended up going for naught.

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