TORONTO — In an instant, everything for the Twins condensed. And when it came time for the big swing, Carlos handed Correa the power.
Minnesota trailed most of Saturday’s wins 9-4, but three straight eighth-inning singles provided a shining stage for a man known for his solid performance. With his club within two runs, the Twins shortstop was offloaded on a hooked slider off Blue Jays sidewinder Adam Cimber.
The explosion itself wasn’t questionable, but Corea knew he clubbed him. As the liner rose to the left field bench, the sold-out center Rogers gasped, shocked to watch his home club lose a late lead. Correa, on the other hand, was ecstatic, waving to his dugout before hitting first and plunging into what was arguably his biggest hit of the Twins season.
“It felt really good,” Correa said. “I’m not going to lie. Bases loaded, we’re down, and [to] Just turn the game upside down like this. And it was a big one.”
The Blue Jays folded after Korea exploded, and Minnesota led with consecutive hits, topped off by a thunderous three-run homer by Max Kepler to make it the eighth inning with seven runs.
“It’s good to pile on and get a lot of hits,” said Rocco Baldelli, director of the Twins. “We’re jumping on top of each other, and it’s stacked up really well in our favor because our rackets have been good. … A lot has happened in a short period of time, and I like it. I like it when we do that.”
As it turns out, there are some precedents for twins mashing up gay pitchers on the road. After Saturday’s hitting parade, Minnesota has now hosted a 16-game winning streak at Rogers Center, totaling 35 long balls over that span.
Correa took home honors in this contest, but it wasn’t all sunny since he signed a six-year, $200 million deal to stay in Minnesota. He’s still adept on defense and a respected voice on the clubhouse, but the bat has been slow to cook. The 28-year-old entered Saturday with a career-low . 212 batting average — though his big hit reminded everyone what he’s capable of.
“That’s why he’s back here,” said Joe Ryan, who made his 10th start of the year. “Obviously he’s a great player and it’s good to see him hit the ball a bit harder at the moment. … He’s been the same guy all year, so I think that’s great. Great for the team and great to see him crack the game open here today.”
As Baldelli said, when Korea goes, so goes the Beating Twins.
“When you guys go out there and have a Grand Slam when you need it, I think it pisses everyone off,” Baldelli said.
With Correa leading the way and the offense appearing for 12 batters, it was easy to overlook Edward Julian’s contributions to the Twins’ victory. The 24-year-old arrived in Toronto late Friday as an injury replacement for Jorge Polanco, hit a lead Saturday and finished 2-for-3 on a walk, a stolen base, and a run.
A native of Quebec City (about a seven-hour drive from Toronto), Julien grew up attending three or four Blue Jays games a year. He took a lot of energy from his first chance to play an MLB game in Toronto and backed up all of those feelings with some excellent play.
“It means a lot,” Julian said. “I’ve dreamed all my life of playing here.”
Although Julian’s contributions to this resounding win are significant, they also carry a long-term impact. The Twins are hitting for the time being, with three of their most iconic hitters—Polanco, Byron Buxton, and Joey Gallo—all suspended due to injuries. As a result, Minnesota’s batting orders were giant turnstiles of platoon players swapping in and out.
However, through roster ripples and some early deficits over the past few weeks, the Twins haven’t relinquished their commitment to hitting the bat.
“We didn’t start much early on, in no way did it affect anyone’s style later in the game, nobody got away with it. Everyone just kept working,” Baldelli said.
If you parachute into this game for the eighth inning on, you won’t realize that this club just got off a five-game losing skid. Through the first two games of the series, the Twins’ drive – from offense to defense and pitching – pumps seamlessly. Now a sweep opportunity hangs in the balance on Sunday.
Baldelli added, “We want our guys to keep working, and if we do that, I think our talent goes up and we’ll see what we’ve made of.”
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