TORONTO — Byron Buxton hit three home runs to power the Minnesota Twins to a 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
Buxton was 4 for 5 with five runs batted in and was the only Minnesota batter to not strike out during the game. The rest of his teammates combined on 17 strikeouts, a season-high for Toronto’s pitching staff.
Kyle Gibson (8-10) went 6 2/3 innings, allowing just two earned runs and striking out seven as the Twins (67-63) picked up their first series win in Toronto since taking two of three in June 2014.
Nori Aoki supplied all the offence for the Blue Jays (61-69), who have dropped seven of their last nine games. Aoki hit a solo homer and drove in another run with an RBI single.
Buxton knocked Joe Biagini from the game with two out in the fourth, taking the right-hander’s 0-1 curveball over the wall in left for a two-run home run that gave Minnesota a 5-1 lead.
Biagini (3-9) allowed five earned on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings while striking out four and walking three in his first start since July 2. The right-hander, who was sent to triple-A Buffalo in August to get stretched out, posted a 3.12 earned-run average in four starts for the Bisons.
The Twins got to Biagini in the first on Buxton’s RBI single, which scored Jorge Polanco from second.
Aoki tied it 1-1 on his single in the second, but Kennys Vargas’ base hit scored Eddie Rosario and Buxton in the third to give Minnesota a 3-1 lead.
With the Blue Jays trailing 5-1 in the fourth, Aoki took Gibson’s first pitch fastball over the wall in right for a solo homer.
Buxton put Matt Dermody’s slider into the second deck for a solo home in the seventh for a 6-2 Twins lead. Then in the ninth, Buxton hit Tim Mayza’s first pitch out of the park for his 13th homer of the season.
Sunday marked Buxton’s first career multi-homer game. The 23-year-old is the eighth Twin in franchise history to go deep three times in a single game and the second this season. Rosario accomplished that feat on June 13 against Seattle.
Buxton finished the three-game series against the Blue Jays 7 for 13 with seven RBI’s.