A pair of American League teams open up a weekend series on the diamond up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Toronto Blue Jays are on the road as they play the middle game of a three-game set with the Minnesota Twins Saturday afternoon. Toronto dropped three of four on the road to Tampa Bay in their early week series as they fell 6-3 in the finale Thursday afternoon. Minnesota avoided a sweep at the hands of the Giants at home Wednesday afternoon as they prevailed 7-1 in the series finale Wednesday afternoon. This article was published prior to the conclusion of the opening game of the series Friday night.
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Toronto entered Friday losers of seven of their previous eight games as they were beaten by Tampa Bay Thursday. The Blue Jays went into Friday’s action 26-25 on the year and stood last in the AL East, 10.5 games behind the Rays for the top spot in the division. On Thursday afternoon, Toronto finished with eight hits with Alejandro Kirk (run) recording three of them. No other player for the Blue Jays had more than one in the contest as the team went one of five with runners in scoring position. Alek Manoah (1-5) saw his struggles continue as he allowed five runs (four earned) on three hits with five walks and six strikeouts over three innings of work.
Chris Bassitt is on the mound as he makes his 11th start of the season for the Blue Jays in this contest. He is 5-3 with a 3.03 ERA, a 1.043 WHIP, 24 walks and 52 strikeouts over 62.1 innings of work on the year. Bassitt took the loss in his last start, which came against the Rays on the road Monday night. He threw 6.1 innings, allowing six runs (two earned) on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts in a 6-4 Blue Jays defeat. In his last three starts, Bassitt is 1-1 with a 0.81 ERA, a 0.72 WHIP, four walks and 19 strikeouts over 22.1 innings of work. Bassitt makes his seventh career appearance and fourth start against the Twins in this contest. He comes in 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA, a 1.385 WHIP, 11 walks and 18 strikeouts over 21.2 innings of work. Bassitt is 1-0 with a 4.08 ERA, a 1.585 WHIP, 10 walks and 13 strikeouts over 17.2 innings in five career appearances, three starts, at Target Field.