Blue Jays 9, Twins 3(11)
Corey Patterson's face lights up when asked about hitting in front of Jose Bautista, the man he believes to be the best player in baseball.
''You'll get a pitch to hit, sometimes two, sometimes maybe even three because they know who's on deck and they don't want to have guys on base when he comes up,'' Patterson said. ''I know that in the back of my mind.''
Case in point: Toronto's 11-inning win over Minnesota on Saturday.
With Patterson on first, Bautista hit a two-run homer in the 11th and the Blue Jays won their fourth straight game by beating Minnesota 9-3.
Bautista's two-run shot off reliever Jim Hoey broke a 3-all tie. Hoey walked the next two batters and J.P. Arencibia followed with a double off Jose Mijares to help send the Twins to their seventh straight loss.
Bautista's homer was his major league-leading 13th of the season and came after Glen Perkins (0-1) gave up a leadoff single to Patterson.
Bautista entered the game leading baseball in walks (34), slugging percentage (.798) and on-base percentage (.525). He has reached base safely in 30 of 31 games, including 20 straight.
''He's hitting home runs, has a high a high average, RBI, on-base percentage,'' Patterson said. ''Typically guys that hit a lot of homers are going to be lacking in something as far as their average goes.''
''That's one guy I do not want to face,'' said Blue Jays starter Jo-Jo Reyes, who allowed a season-high 10 hits and extended his winless streak to 26 consecutive starts. ''People try throwing him in and he hits home runs. Today, they started going away so he hits a home run the other way. Throw the whole kitchen sink and see what he hits. I have no clue. I don't want to face him.''
Former Twins closer Jon Rauch (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings.
Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn struck out a career-high eight through 7 2-3 innings. He looked well on his way to his third win before a two-out infield single by Yunel Escobar in the eighth. Patterson followed with a triple that made it 3-all, and Blackburn was done after intentionally walking Bautista.
''I made some pretty good pitches and all that stuff, but the fact that it ended that way is still pretty frustrating,'' he said.
Minnesota had a chance to win in the ninth after Justin Morneau doubled to center, but Delmon Young struck out for the third time and Michael Cuddyer, who homered earlier, popped out to second to send the game to extra innings.
The Twins were 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position, and are 6 for 40 in the last four games.
''There was a lot of big opportunities. We were one big hit away. That's it. Nobody's going to feel sorry for us,'' Morneau said.
Arencibia hit his sixth homer of the season, a towering solo shot to left in the second inning to make it 2-2.
Notes: A moment of silence was held for New York Rangers defenseman Derek Boogaard before the game. Boogaard, a popular member of the Minnesota Wild for five seasons, was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment Friday. ... Blue Jays 1B Adam Lind (back) missed his sixth straight game a day after being scratched from the lineup. The team is hopeful Lind can be available Monday. ''I don't really have another way to categorize the time frame other than 'not right now,''' Toronto manager John Farrell said. ... Twins slugger Jim Thome continues to make progress in his recovery from a left oblique strain. Manager Ron Gardenhire said Thome - currently on a rehab assignment at the team's minor league facilities in Fort Myers, Fla. - could potentially rejoin the Twins during their interleague series at Arizona next weekend. ... Asked about the wrap on his foot before the game, Gardenhire said: ''My Achilles' is a little sore, too many trips to the mound.''