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Santana hits tiebreaking HR as Twins beat Blue Jays for 16th win in 18 games

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TORONTO (AP) — Carlos Santana hit a tiebreaking home run in the fifth inning, Joe Ryan pitched a season-high seven innings and the Minnesota Twins won for the 16th time in 18 games by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Friday night.

Carlos Correa had two hits and scored twice as the Twins won for the ninth time in their past 13 games in Toronto.

Jose Miranda added an RBI single as the Twins, who successfully brought their lucky sausage across the Canadian border, extended their road winning streak to seven.

Santana was struck on the helmet by the sausage as he returned to the dugout following his home run.

“When you win, you have fun,” Santana said. “We have a great team, we’re playing good. We have to keep continuing to play and take it one day at a time, one game at a time. That’s why we’re playing good now.”

Ryan (2-2) allowed one run and six hits for his first victory in three starts. He struck out seven and did not give up a walk.

“Joe worked through their lineup really well and then got stronger, it looked like, in the sixth and seventh innings,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

Jhoan Duran worked the eighth and Griffin Jax pitched the ninth for his fifth save in seven chances.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa had three hits, including his second home run, but the Blue Jays lost for the sixth time in eight games. Toronto won at Philadelphia on Wednesday but the Blue Jays haven’t won back-to-back games since home wins over the Dodgers on April 28 and Kansas City on April 29.

Kiner-Falefa cut the deficit to one with an RBI single off Jax in the ninth but Ernie Clement stranded the tying run at third when his liner hit Jax and caromed to Santana at first base.

Santana’s leadoff homer against Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (2-3) gave the Twins at least one home run in 18 consecutive games in Toronto, extending the second-longest such streak in team history. Minnesota homered in 21 straight games at Kansas City between July 30, 1998 and Aug. 25, 2001.

Santana’s homer was his fifth.

“That was obviously one of the biggest swings of the game,” Baldelli said.

Santana has 14 home runs and 37 RBIs in 81 career games against Toronto.

“Good pitch to Santana but a better swing on it for the home run,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said.

Kikuchi allowed two runs and four hits in a season-high eight innings and is winless in three starts.

“Overall, he was absolutely fantastic,” Schneider said. “Eight innings against a good lineup and he was on his game.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays OFs George Springer and Kevin Kiermaier were both held out of the starting lineup because of an illness. … Schneider said RHP Yimi García (back) was available Friday. García last pitched April 28.

UP NEXT

RHP Kevin Gausman (2-3, 3.78 ERA) starts for Toronto on Saturday against Twins RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (1-0, 1.74). Gausman has a 6.35 ERA in 11 career games against Minnesota.

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This story has been changed to correct the number of hits allowed by Ryan to six.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

By IAN HARRISON
Associated Press

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