Blue Jays fall to Twins in wild-card series opener

BARRIO – Toronto suddenly faces must-win Game 2 today after low-scoring loss.

Gausman gave up two homers to Royce Lewis in a brief four-inning appearance as the Blue Jays dropped a 3-1 decision to the Minnesota Twins. The loss left Toronto in must-win territory for the rest of the best-of-three American League wild-card series.

“Obviously not one of my best starts of the year,” Gausman said. “Walking the leadoff hitter of the game is never how you want to start off. And looking back, obviously too many pitches thrown and too many deep counts.”

Game 2 is scheduled for this afternoon at Target Field. As the higher-seeded team, the AL Central Division champion Twins would also host Game 3, if necessary, on Thursday.

Minnesota ended an 18-game playoff losing streak with the win. Toronto’s post-season skid stretched to six games.

Toronto had opportunities but couldn’t deliver a big offensive moment. Kevin Kiermaier drove in Bo Bichette with the Blue Jays’ lone run in the sixth inning.

The Blue Jays outhit the Twins 6-5. Toronto left nine runners on base, one more than Minnesota.

Gausman, who was 12-9 in the regular season, gave up three earned runs, three hits and three walks while striking out five. He threw 43 of 73 pitches for strikes.

With Quebec City native Edouard Julien aboard after a leadoff walk in the first, Lewis turned on a full-count pitch that put a charge into the announced crowd of 38,450.

The Blue Jays brought the potential tying run to the plate in the eighth inning after Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led off with a double. But Griffin Jax struck out a pair and got Alejandro Kirk to ground out.

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