Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a three-run home run to highlight a six-run eighth inning and Teoscar Hernandez also homered to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 9-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a four-game series on Thursday night in Minneapolis.
Bo Bichette had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored twice; Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs and two RBIs; and George Springer added two RBIs for Toronto, which improved to 9-3 since the All-Star break.
Whit Merrifield, who was making his Blue Jays debut after being obtained in a deadline day deal with Kansas City, and Cavan Biggio also had two hits and a run as the Blue Jays finished with 13 hits.
Alek Manoah (12-5) picked up the win, allowing two runs on two hits, four walks and a hit batter over six innings. He struck out five.
Jake Cave homered and Jose Miranda had two RBIs for Minnesota, which lost for the sixth time in its last nine games. The loss was pinned on Emilio Pagan (3-5), who gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits in one inning.
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Carlos Correa singled on a comebacker off Manoah and Jorge Polanco and Nick Gordon walked to loaded the bases. Miranda was then hit on the left wrist to force in Correa.
Toronto was no-hit over the first 4 2/3 innings by Twins starter Sonny Gray, who who left after allowing one hit over five innings with five walks and five strikeouts and a pitch count of 96.
But the Jays took a 3-1 lead in the sixth against Pagan. Hernandez tied it with his 16th homer of the season, a towering 409-foot drive down the left field line. Bichette followed with a double off the bottom of the wall in right-center and scored on a single by Gurriel, who later scored on a single by Merrifield.
The Twins cut it to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth when Polanco walked, advanced to third on a double by Gordon and scored on a groundout by Miranda.
The Blue Jays then broke the game open with a six-run, six-hit eighth that featured an RBI single by Gurriel, a two-run single by Springer and Guerrero’s 22nd homer of the season, a three-run line drive into the bleachers in left.
Cave ended the scoring in the ninth with his first home run of the season deep into the bullpen in left-center.