Sun, 03 Dec 2023

Royce Lewis helps Twins beat Jays for first playoff win since '04

Field Level Media
04 Oct 2023, 09:40 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Royce Lewis homered in each of his first two postseason at-bats, and the Minnesota Twins held on for a 3-1 win over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays in Game 1 of their American League wild-card series on Tuesday afternoon.

The victory snapped a record 18-game playoff losing streak for Minnesota. It was the franchise's first win in the postseason since Oct. 5, 2004, against the New York Yankees.

The teams will meet again Wednesday afternoon in Game 2 of the best-of-three series.

Lewis became only the third player in big-league history to homer in the first two playoff at-bats of his career. He joined Evan Longoria, who did so in 2008 with the Tampa Bay Rays, and Gary Gaetti, who accomplished the feat in 1987 with Minnesota.

Twins right-hander Pablo Lopez (1-0) limited the Blue Jays to one run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.

Twins closer Jhoan Duran pitched a scoreless ninth to record his first career playoff save.

Kevin Kiermaier went 2-for-3 and drove in Toronto's lone run. Bo Bichette finished 2-for-4.

Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman (0-1) labored through four innings before giving way to the bullpen. He gave up three runs on three hits and three walks, and he fanned five.

Minnesota grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Lewis worked a full count against Gausman and drilled a two-run, line-drive home run into the left field bleachers.

Two innings later, Lewis struck again. He lifted a solo shot to right-center field to make it 3-0.

The Blue Jays cut the deficit to 3-1 in the sixth. Kiermaier ripped an opposite-field single to left to drive in Bichette from second base.

Michael A. Taylor helped the Twins preserve their lead with a pair of highlight-reel catches in center field. He made a diving grab in the second to rob Alejandro Kirk of a hit, and he made a leaping catch at the wall in the sixth to steal extra bases from Matt Chapman.

--Tom Musick, Field Level Media

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