TORONTO — Seconds after Teoscar Hernández’s three-run home run cleared the wall in left field, his teammate Marcus Semien was waiting on the top step of the third-base dugout with the team’s home run jacket.
Hernández slipped the coat on over his jersey, made his way through his teammates waiting to offer congratulations in the dugout and did a little shimmy. The crowd at the Rogers Centre had gone into a frenzy.
Hernández’s home run, the second in the fourth inning off Twins starter Bailey Ober, was the big blow for the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon in their 6-2 win over the Twins.
“When you’re facing a lineup like this one, when you miss on some pitches and put yourself kind of behind a little bit and put guys on base, they can make it hurt,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “And today, the second time through, they did.”
When Hernández made contact, Ober said he thought off the bat that it was just going to be a pop up to left field. Instead, the ball continued to carry, landing just a few feet past an outstretched Brent Rooker’s glove in left and turning a 2-1 lead into a 4-2 deficit.
Beginning with Semien’s home run, the first four batters of the inning all reached base and scored. It marked the first time that Ober has given up more than three runs in a game since July 10.
Ober would go on to give up another hit in the inning, a double, but worked his way out of the frame without giving up another run. Ober was pulled after the high-stress inning at 74 pitches.
“I thought they kind of started noticing what I did the first time through the lineup and they started sitting on some pitches and they worked some deep counts early and I didn’t get as many pitches as I would have like called,” Ober said. “I felt like that kind of (swung) it in their favor.”
Ober said he thought he threw the ball pretty well, other than the hanging slider to Hernández, executing the game plan close to how he wanted to.
The high-powered Blue Jays (83-65) offense scored another two runs in the seventh inning, capitalizing after rookie Jovani Moran loaded the bases with three walks and Kyle Barraclough, who came in after him, allowed a two-run single to Bo Bichette.
The Twins (65-84), meanwhile, didn’t get much going offensively throughout the game, managing just four hits. The first, a Josh Donaldson home run, came after the former Blue Jay was treated to another long ovation before his first at-bat of the game.
Donaldson’s two-run blast brought home Jorge Polanco, who walked before him, and provided the Twins’ only offense of the day against Blue Jays starter Steven Matz and four Toronto relievers, not nearly enough against one of the league’s most prolific lineups.
“There are lineups out there where you can make mistakes, you can walk guys, you can miss on some pitches and find, you know — there are easier ways to find your way through those lineups. But this is not one of those lineups,” Baldelli said. “It’s a dangerous lineup.”