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Comeback falls short as Twins' slump continues

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Eduardo Escobar's fourth homer of the season wasn't enough to spark a comeback on Monday, as the Twins dropped their 10th game in 11 days in a 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays at Target Field.

Toronto got to Twins' starter Lance Lynn early and scored six runs off of the right-hander in five innings. Lynn is now 0-3 with an 8.37 ERA in five starts this season. Monday marked the third time this season that he has surrendered five or more walks in a start.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Eduardo Escobar's fourth homer of the season wasn't enough to spark a comeback on Monday, as the Twins dropped their 10th game in 11 days in a 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays at Target Field.

Toronto got to Twins' starter Lance Lynn early and scored six runs off of the right-hander in five innings. Lynn is now 0-3 with an 8.37 ERA in five starts this season. Monday marked the third time this season that he has surrendered five or more walks in a start.

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"It wasn't good enough," Lynn said. "I gave up too many homers and too many walks, again. There were just some funky plays, also. Everything that could possible happen, happens. That kind of seems to be the way things are going right now. So, I'm looking forward to May, that's for sure."

Lynn sat the Blue Jays down in order in the first, but Toronto plated a run in the second when Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s swinging bunt rolled fair down the third-base line, allowing Yangervis Solarte to score. Two batters later, Lynn walked Curtis Granderson with the bases loaded to score a second run.

Video: TOR@MIN: Lynn fans Gurriel to escape bases-loaded jam

"It's been the worst month of my career, I think," Lynn said. "I'm ready for it to be over. The good thing is, we're gonna wake up tomorrow and it's May, so it will be all right."

The Blue Jays added three more runs in the fourth, two of which came on a Justin Smoak homer. They added another in the fifth on a Russell Martin solo shot.

Video: TOR@MIN: Martin cranks a homer to the second deck

Minnesota's bats woke up in the middle innings, and Escobar's two-run blast in the fifth cut the Toronto lead to 6-3. Escobar has owned one of the hottest bats in baseball of late; he entered Monday hitting .400 over his last seven games. His hot streak is coming at a time when the Twins need it: All-Star third baseman Miguel Sano is battling a tight hamstring and has missed the last three games. Escobar has filled in for him both at the hot corner and in the middle of the order.

"He seems to like hitting when he's playing third," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said of Escobar, who has split time at third and shortstop this season. "He's just very capable. He can get streaky and he can get hot. He's got power for the size that he brings up to the plate. He's doing a nice job -- he's contributing offensively and he's done a nice job defensively over there.

In the sixth, Robbie Grossman lined a leadoff double and later scored on a Logan Morrison groundout to make it a two-run deficit.

Video: TOR@MIN: Morrison grounds out to get Twins on board

Minnesota saw a chance to tie the game an inning later when Joe Mauer scored on a Max Kepler double, and Morrison stepped to the plate. But Toronto reliever Danny Barnes forced Morrison to pop out to third and end the inning.

The Twins threatened again the bottom of the ninth, putting two runners on against Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna. Grossman flew out to center to end the game, leaving the tying run stranded in scoring position.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
In the top of the ninth, Kepler made a diving catch in center field on a line drive from Martin to steal a hit, and potentially save a run. According to Statcast™, the ball had a hit probability of 48 percent, as Kepler needed to cover 43 feet in 3.3 seconds. It resulted in Kepler's first four-star catch of the 2018 season.

Video: TOR@MIN: Kepler lays out for a fine diving grab

UP NEXT
The Twins will face Toronto for the middle game of the three-game series on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Kyle Gibson will take the mound for the Twins and square off with Marco Estrada. In his last outing against the Yankees on April 26, Gibson racked up a career-high 10 strikeouts.

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minnesota.

Minnesota Twins