MLB

Twins lose 9th in a row at home, 11-2 to Blue Jays

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)

Returning home from a successful Texas road swing, the Minnesota Twins are facing a stretch of 24 games in 24 days to end the season and are just trying to get through the busy schedule with the current pitching staff.

The first two games don't look pretty with losses to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Correia gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings in the Twins' 11-2 loss on Saturday night that extended their home losing streak to nine games.

Correia (9-11) allowed all five runs in the first inning and still lasted until the sixth, one night after Mike Pelfrey gave up five in the second before lasting seven. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire like the Twins' plight for innings out of their pitchers to `surviving.'

''That's kind of what it feels like right now,'' Gardenhire said. ''You just have to ride with him and try to get through five or six innings because we don't have enough pitchers right now. Triple-A is having some fun and winning some games down there in the playoffs. We're not going to get a lot of help from them right now. So, we have to get through with what we have and we can't murder these guys this early in this thing or its not going to work out.''

Minnesota's Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings, is playing the Pawtucket Red Sox in the playoffs and the Twins don't want to call up any extra players, despite the expanded rosters for September. With a make-up game against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, Minnesota doesn't have another off day this season.

Correia's ability to get through six innings was a help. After giving up five runs in the first, including back-to-back home runs by Lind - who finished with two three-run shots on the day - and Brett Lawrie, Correia retired 16 of the final 18 batters he faced.

''They jumped on pitches early, it was kind of quick,'' Correia said. ''Normally I can kind of make adjustments like I did after that inning and get through, but they just caught me early. There's a handful of guys I've never faced on that team. It was kind of a guessing game early and they kind of jumped on some pitches early and took advantage in the first, obviously.''

Correia was 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA in his previous two starts, but entered 1-2 with a 6.88 ERA in three career starts against the Blue Jays - including a 4-0 Twins loss to Toronto July 5.

Lind went deep again in the eighth for his second multi-homer game this season and 10th of his career off of reliever Caleb Thielbar. His six RBIs were his most since driving in a career-high eight at Texas on Aug. 31, 2009.

Toronto's J.A. Happ (4-5), who entered the game with a 7.71 ERA in his last three outings, allowed an unearned run on five hits while striking out four. The left-hander, who suffered a fractured skull and sprained knee on May 7 when he was hit in the head by line drive, hadn't pitched past the fifth inning in back-to-back starts.

But Happ faced just two over the minimum through the first three innings before Lawrie's throwing error in the fourth led to the unearned run. He walked two of the four batters he faced in the sixth before giving way to Neil Wagner, who struck out Chris Colabello to end the threat.

Oswaldo Arcia and Josmil Pinto drove in Minnesota's only runs. The Twins started the eighth inning with three singles and a walk, but Steve Delabar relieved Kyle Drabek and retired the next three batters to keep Minnesota from getting any closer.

NOTES: Twins C Joe Mauer took group batting practice Saturday for the first time as he continues to make progress from a concussion he suffered August 19. There still is no timetable for his return. ... Rochester beat Pawtucket 9-1 on Saturday to extend the best-of-five series to a fifth game. ... Esmil Rogers (4-7, 4.76 ERA) will try to win back-to-back starts for the first time since June 13 and 18 as he takes the mound for Toronto on Sunday. The Twins will counter with rookie Matt Albers (2-2, 3.96), who has allowed five earned runs in three of his last four starts after starting his career with 8 1-3 scoreless innings and a shutout.

Tagged: Twins, Blue Jays

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