Teoscar Hernandez hit a three-run home run, Marcus Semien hit a solo shot and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the visiting Minnesota Twins 6-2 on Saturday afternoon.
Bo Bichette added three singles and two RBIs for the Blue Jays (83-65), who gained a split after two games of the three-game series. Toronto is in position of the American League’s second wild-card spot by a half-game over the New York Yankees.
The Blue Jays had lost their previous eight games against the Twins at the Rogers Centre dating to 2017.
Josh Donaldson hit a two-run home run for the Twins (65-84).
Blue Jays left-hander Steven Matz (13-7) allowed two runs, three hits and two walks while striking out five in 5 2/3 innings.
Twins rookie right-hander Bailey Ober (2-3) allowed four runs, four hits and two walks while striking out three in four innings.
Jorge Polanco walked with one out in the first inning and Donaldson, a former Blue Jay, followed with his 24th home run of the season and his second of the series.
Ober did not allow a hit until Semien led off the four-run fourth inning with his career-best 40th home run of the season. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. followed with a walk, Bichette singled and Hernandez hit his 28th home run of the season.
Ralph Garza Jr. replaced Ober in the fifth and pitched around two singles.
Matz retired 11 batters in a row until Donaldson walked with two out in the sixth. Miguel Sano followed with a single to put runners at the corners and Trevor Richards came in to finish the inning.
Tim Mayza pitched a perfect seventh for Toronto.
Jovani Moran loaded the bases with walks in the bottom of the seventh and was replaced by Kyle Barraclough, who allowed Bichette’s two-run single.
Adam Cimber replaced Mayza with one out in the eighth inning and worked around a single.
Jordan Romano pitched around a walk with two strikeouts in the ninth inning.
Toronto put right-hander Joakim Soria on the family medical emergency list and recalled right-hander Anthony Castro from Triple-A Buffalo.
Nick Gordon started at shortstop for the Twins and was 1-for-3. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons is unavailable for the series because of visa issues.