Vladimir Guerrero Jr. connected for his major league-leading 46th homer, but Jorge Polanco, Josh Donaldson, and Miguel Sanó hit consecutive homers as the Minnesota Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 Friday night.
The Blue Jays began the day tied with the Red Sox and Yankees atop the AL wild-card race. Toronto fell to 13-3 in September.
Guerrero hit a solo homer in the third that pulled Toronto within 5-3. He was tied with Kansas City’s Salvador Perez for the homer lead going into the game.
Michael Pineda (7-8) pitched 5 2-3 innings to win his third straight start, allowing three runs and three hits. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA in September after going 0-3 with a 5.88 ERA in August.
Jorge Alcala worked 1 1-3 innings, Tyler Duffey struck out the side in the eighth and Alex Colomé finished in the ninth as Minnesota won for the second time in six games.
After giving up seven runs in 2 1-3 innings against lowly Baltimore in his previous outing, Blue Jays left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (13-9) couldn’t make it past the third again, leaving after allowing four straight hits.
The last of those hits were the homers by Polanco, his 31st, and Donaldson, his 23rd. Ryu is 2-4 with an 8.10 ERA in his past eight starts.
Ross Stripling relieved and gave up Sanó’s homer on his fourth pitch. The homer was Sanó’s 29th.
Reinstated from the paternity list before the game, Minnesota’s Brent Rooker hit an RBI double off Ryu in the second and homered off Julian Merryweather in the sixth.
Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons didn’t travel to Canada with the team because of a visa issue and was placed on the restricted list. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Simmons is in the midst of applying for permanent residency in the United States, meaning he is unable to cross the border. He’ll rejoin the team in Chicago next week for a series against the Cubs.
Polanco started at shortstop and made two throwing errors in the second, leading to a pair of unearned runs, but redeemed himself with his two-run homer in the third.
Blue Jays: RHP José Berríos will start Sunday’s series finale against his former team, manager Charlie Montoyo said. Berríos pitched through soreness in his left side for several innings Tuesday against the Rays, but reported no lingering effects. … RHP Alek Manoah will get six days of rest before his next start, Tuesday at Tampa Bay. The rookie has pitched 93 innings this year. His single-season high at any level is 108 1-3 innings as a college junior at West Virginia.
Twins: Baldelli said RHP Joe Ryan is not expected to go on the injured list after being struck on the wrist by a batted ball Tuesday. Baldelli said Ryan may get an extra day of rest before his next start. … C Mitch Garver (lower back tightness) went 0 for 2 with a walk in a five-inning rehab appearance with Triple-A St. Paul.
The Twins selected RHP Nick Vincent from Triple-A and optioned LHP Andrew Albers to their top farm team.