Ninth-inning RBI triple carries Blue Jays to victory over Twins
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Twins right-hander Phil Hughes tossed three scoreless innings and top prospect Byron Buxton swatted his first home run of the spring, but Kenny Wilson delivered a walk-off triple to deep center field as Toronto defeated Minnesota, 4-3, on Saturday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
The Twins had tied the game at 3 in the ninth on Jermaine Mitchell's RBI single off John Stilson, who ended up as the winning pitcher. But Wilson, an outfielder added to Toronto's 40-man roster in November, broke the tie.
"It was just two strikes, looking for a pitch up in the zone and got a hanging breaking ball and I was able to put a good swing on it," Wilson said.
The Blue Jays got on the board in the fourth, when Jose Bautista launched a long homer to left field off Twins lefty Glen Perkins. Toronto first baseman Adam Lind tied it up later that inning, lining an RBI double to center field. Toronto broke up the 2-2 tie in the sixth, when Melky Cabrera poked a line-drive single to right field off lefty Logan Darnell to score Lind.
Hughes pounded the strike zone for three innings, allowing only one hit and a walk as he struck out two in his second Grapefruit League outing.
"I kind of fell out of rhythm here and there at times, but I feel like that's going to happen," Hughes said. "For the most part, I was able to command the ball pretty well and move the ball in and out with my fastball. Curveball was good again. Changeup wasn't very good, but it's all part of the process."
Buxton provided Hughes' run support, launching a two-run shot deep to left-center field off Toronto starter Drew Hutchison, who's competing for one of the final spots in the Blue Jays' starting rotation. Buxton, for his part, downplayed the significance of the homer.
"[Hutchison] left a slider up and I just put a good swing on it, and it just happened to go out," Buxton said.
Buxton's blast was essentially the only blemish on Hutchison's afternoon, as he gave up only one other hit and one walk while striking out five batters in three innings.
"I threw a lot of really good pitches today -- one not-so-good one -- but with the exception of that, I felt like I pitched real well today," Hutchison said. "I was just trying to pound the zone just like every other start. Just fill the zone up and throw quality pitches. I threw a lot of really good pitches today, so it was a good day."
Up Next: Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will make his third start of the Grapefruit League season on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV as the Blue Jays head north to face the Astros at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla. Dickey pitched four innings his last time out, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out two. Left-hander Rudy Owens is slated to start for Houston.