Byron Buxton’s 10th-inning homer gave the Minnesota Twins their second straight walk-off victory, a 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night.
A night after Eddie Rosario beat the San Diego Padres with a 10th-inning homer, Buxton connected on a 1-0 count off Toronto’s Luis Santos with two outs. Buxton’s 15th homer didn’t leave much suspense as it reached the second deck in left field.
“For him to be able to put a good swing, I know he’s been battling, we talk about the hand all the time, but he’s found a way to compete each and every night,” Molitor said. “No complaints. He’s just going out there and tonight he walks off the game’s hero.”
Buxton has been playing through a hand injury which knocked him out for one game at the start of the month. He has 10 homers and 25 RBIs in his last 31 games, and he’s hit four homers in four games against the Blue Jays this season.
“Heck, we haven’t been able to keep him in the park,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “He’s going to be a great, great player.”
Talking to reporters with his left hand heavily wrapped after the game, Buxton said he got a tip from teammates who faced Santos in the minors that the right-handed reliever likes to rely on off-speed pitches.
After taking a fastball for a 1-0 count, Buxton waited and got a breaking pitch over the plate for his first career walk-off hit.
“It just pushes us,” Buxton said of the second straight walk-off win. “It shows how much character we got as a team to keep fighting and not give up. Every at-bat is a fight for us. We go out there and try to have quality at-bats and keep the line moving.”
Dillon Gee (2-2) pitched one inning of relief for Minnesota, which earned its fifth walk-off win of the season and has won six of its past eight games. The Twins maintained their lead for the second wild card in the American League.
Smoak sends game to extras
Santos (0-1) recorded two outs in the loss. Toronto’s Justin Smoak had tied the game with a two-out homer in the top of the ninth off Twins closer Matt Belisle.
Late night Smoak. 💨🔥 pic.twitter.com/PaZYfV91Ge
Rosario had two hits for Minnesota a night after his extra-inning heroics. Jorge Polanco had a two-run single to open the scoring.
Belisle’s fifth blown save of the season overshadowed what had been a big bullpen night for…