Toronto one game from wild card

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The season has been shortened to seven games and the Blue Jays are a game out of the wild card spot.

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A September to remember having three monster games remaining, all against the New York Yankees, continued with their 17th win in 24 games for the month as they secured a trip home to Rogers Center with nothing worse than one game. . deficit in that wild-card run with a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon.

Still to be determined later Sunday was which team would be behind by one game.

The Yankees and Red Sox tilt began long after the Blue Jays game. The loser of that game will have a one-game lead over the Blue Jays for the second wild card.

The Blue Jays had to take care of business first and they did so picking up right where they left off the night before.

On the mound, it was Alek Manoah following in the footsteps of Robbie Ray’s bulldog who took the win Saturday night. Manoah, like Ray, wasn’t necessarily locked in early on, but he struggled and found a way to lead the Blue Jays to 5 2/3 innings with a 4-1 lead.

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At the plate, once again it was the home run that did the damage to the Blue Jays.

Danny Jansen, a guy best known for his defensive skills, put the Blue Jays in control of the game in the second inning with his ninth home run of the year with two Blue Jays ahead of him.

Both Corey Dickerson and Santiago Espinal, the two who got ahead of Jansen, didn’t force their way as much as they fell back on their base hits.

Dickerson’s shallow fly dropped just above the infield defense and right in front of the charging outfield. Espinal did the same with almost the carbon copy hit that fell right between the Twins’ defense on and off the field.

The Blue Jays' Danny Jansen celebrates with his teammates while wearing the blue Home Run jacket after hitting a three-run home run in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on September 26, 2021 in Minneapolis.  Stephen Maturen / Getty Images
The Blue Jays’ Danny Jansen celebrates with his teammates while wearing the blue Home Run jacket after hitting a three-run home run in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on September 26, 2021 in Minneapolis. Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

Then it was Jansen stepping into Griffin Jax’s offer and sending him to the seats in the center left for a quick 3-0 lead with the Blue Jays.

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The Blue Jays would get one more run through the home run, this the second in as many days for George Springer, who was previously struggling.

Kicking off Springer as he now appears to be right at the forefront of a potentially season-defining series with the Yankees this week at Rogers Center is the very definition of a good time.

With the victory, the Blue Jays saved a division in this four-game series with Minnesota. More importantly, the Blue Jays began to find their way out of some collective batting led by the aforementioned Springer.

Some problems remain, none bigger than getting potential MVP Vladimir Guerrero Jr. back on track.

Guerrero, who has been so steady all year, has just one hit in his last 13 plate appearances, but he’s still hitting .317 with a 1,000+ OPS and, of course, that part of the home run advantage. in the league with Kansas City receiver Salvador Pérez. .

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The Blue Jays will have a day off before the crucial three-game series with the Yankees begins Tuesday.

ROOKIE IN NAME ONLY

Manoah still has at least one more regular-season start to his rookie season, but it’s been a while since he’s looked anything like a rookie.

Manoah pitches, competes and behaves like a guy who has been in the majors for far more than the 20 starts he now has under his belt after notching his eighth win of the season on Sunday.

It’s not so much his mastery of four different pitches that makes him so uncharacteristic of a rookie, but his ability to adapt on any given day and cope with the pitches that work so well for him.

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Manoah’s slider, which has been completely disgusting at times, didn’t start the day as one of those pitches he could rely on, so Manoah turned to his two- and four-seam straights along with a tricky change to get him. through some tough times in the early innings.

Manoah came out of some self-made jams early on by knowing and trusting what was working before finally finding that nasty slider and ending the afternoon leaning on it.

If this season continues in the playoffs for the Blue Jays, Manoah will be asked to act in high-leverage situations, the kinds of situations that could cause most rookies to take a step back.

Don’t expect to see that from Manoa.

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ABOUT ESE BULLPEN

Big credit to the Blue Jays relief team on Sunday. From an unexpected three-hitter, three-strikeout appearance by Tim Mayza to a massive strikeout from the Jays’ noted killer Adam Cimber’s Byron Buxton with the game still in the balance, to a four-out save by Jordan Romano, including his own. Miguel’s key punch. Healthy to end the eighth representing the tie streak, the Blue Jays got great contributions from everyone who came out of that corral.

With a day off before the Yankees series, the Blue Jays’ feather will be fresh for the next series, another good sign as the season wraps up.

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