Buxton homers to give Twins 2nd straight 10th-inning walk-off win
MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton hit his first career walk-off homer to give the Minnesota Twins a 3-2, 10-inning victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday at Target Field.
Buxton hit a solo shot to left field off Blue Jays reliever Luis Santos (0-1) with two outs to send Twins fans home happy, one inning after they saw their team blow a lead in the ninth inning. Buxton's 15th home run of the season was arguably his biggest.
It was the second straight walk-off win for the Twins after Eddie Rosario's two-out, two-run homer in the 10th on Wednesday against the San Diego Padres.
Twins closer Matt Belisle blew a save chance for the fourth time this season when he gave up a two-out solo homer to Toronto's Justin Smoak in the ninth inning. Smoak's no-doubter to right was his 38th of the season.
Buxton didn't miss on the 1-0 offering from Santos in the 10th, sending it 390 feet to the left field seats.
Dillon Gee (2-2) threw one scoreless inning for the victory.
With the win, the Twins (77-69) held a 2 1/2-game lead over the Angels in the race for the second American League wild, pending the result of Los Angeles' late game against the Houston Astros.
Both teams had a .500 record in one-run games prior to Thursday. The Blue Jays (68-79) fell to 24-25 in those contests. Minnesota is now 15-14 in games decided by just one run.
Jorge Polanco drove in Minnesota's first two runs with one swing of the bat. Polanco's bases-loaded single in the fifth put the Twins up 2-1 after Toronto took the lead in the top of the inning.
Twins reliever Trevor Hildenberger picked up two of the game's biggest outs in the top of the seventh inning. He entered in relief of Alan Busenitz, who exited the game with runners on the corners and just one out.
Hildenberger proceeded to strike out Jose Bautista and Kendrys Morales to neutralize Toronto's threat. The 26-year-old Hildenberger, who debuted earlier this season, has allowed just two runs in his last 16 innings pitched and has struck out 17 batters during that stretch.
Twins starter Jose Berrios went 5 2/3 innings and struck out five while allowing just one run. Blue Jays starter Brett Anderson lasted just 4 1/3 innings and gave up two runs.
NOTES: Minnesota 3B Miguel Sano said that the stress reaction in his left shin continues to be frustrating, but he hasn't ruled out playing again by the end of the season. Sano hasn't played since Aug. 19. Manager Paul Molitor said Sano likely would face Twins pitchers in a simulated game before returning. ... Twins INF Engelb Vielma was claimed off waivers by the San Francisco Giants. Vielma was designated for assignment on Tuesday to make room for pitcher Gabriel Moya on the 40-man roster. Vielma, a defensive specialist as an infielder, batted a combined .229 in 121 games between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester this season. ... RHP Roberto Osuna rejoined the Blue Jays after missing time earlier this week for the birth of his child. He threw a side session Thursday and will be available Friday out of the bullpen.