Jorge Polanco had five hits, including a two-run home run, Kyle Gibson struck out a career-high 11 and the Minnesota Twins beat Toronto 9-1 on Wednesday, completing a three-game sweep of the struggling Blue Jays.
It was the second five-hit game of Polanco’s career. His first came April 5 at Philadelphia.
Eddie Rosario hit his AL-leading 13th home run, one of four long balls by the Twins. Minnesota had 18 hits, one shy of its season high.
C.J. Cron had a two-run homer among his four hits and Jonathan Schoop added a two-run shot as the AL Central-leading Twins swept a series for the fifth time this season. Minnesota has won 10 of 13.
Toronto has lost a season-high five straight and eight of nine overall.
The Twins hit eight home runs in the series, giving them 64 this season. They began the day tied with the Dodgers for the fourth-most in the majors, behind Seattle (71), Milwaukee (65) and Houston (61).
Gibson (3-1) allowed one run on two hits in six innings to win for the third time in four starts. He struck out the side in the first and the fourth and threw 88 pitches, 62 for strikes.
Ryne Harper, Mike Morin, and Blake Parker worked one inning apiece to complete the two-hitter.
Polanco singled in the first inning, homered off rookie right-hander Trent Thorton (0-4) in the second, singled in the third, doubled in the sixth and singled in the seventh before leaving for pinch-runner Ehire Adrianza.
Polanco had three hits before Toronto’s ninth batter, Luke Maile, came to the plate for the first time.
After being blanked in consecutive games to start the series, the Blue Jays finally scored on a solo home run by Billy McKinney in the fifth, snapping a 24-inning drought. Toronto avoided being blanked in three straight games for the third time. It happened previously in May of 1981 and August of 1990.
McKinney’s homer, his second, snapped a 25-inning scoreless streak by Minnesota pitchers, their longest since a 25-inning stretch in September of 2004.
Thornton allowed five runs and seven hits in two-plus innings, the shortest start of his brief career. He has allowed seven home runs in 37 1/3 innings.
Nelson Cruz went 0 for 6 and struck out three times. He was the only Twins starter not to get a hit.
Twins: C Jason Castro (right elbow) sat for the second straight game.
Blue Jays: 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got the day off. Toronto’s top prospect has three hits in his past 23 at-bats.
Twins: Minnesota is off Thursday. RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-2, 2.78 ERA) starts Friday as the Twins return home for a four-game series against Detroit. Odorizzi has won four straight starts and has not allowed a run in his past 13 innings. RHP Tyson Ross (1-4, 5.34) starts for the Tigers.
Blue Jays: After a day off, RHP Clay Buchholz (0-2, 6.57) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. Buchholz allowed a season-worst seven runs in his previous start, May 5 at Texas. RHP Dylan Covey (0-1, 4.50) starts for Chicago.