The Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins are set for a day-night doubleheader Thursday at Target Field.
Wednesday's middle test of this three-game series was postponed due to inclement weather. A few inches of snow fell on the Twin Cities early in the day with freezing temperatures. Rain and snow was expected to continue into the evening.
Toronto won the opener by a 9-3 score on Tuesday, as Jose Bautista finished 3- for-5 and drove in one of the five runs the Blue Jays scored in the sixth inning. Brett Lawrie belted a grand slam and had five RBI for the Jays, winners in two straight and five of seven games.
Aaron Loup threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for the win and Toronto starter Brandon Morrow lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits.
Trevor Plouffe homered for the Twins and Chris Colabello recorded three hits and an RBI. Twins starter Phil Hughes was cruising until the sixth inning and was reached for four runs and eight hits in five innings to take the loss.
"Hughes was tough on us early but we had that one big inning where we broke it open," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Minnesota had won three in a row and lost for the fourth time in seven tries.
R.A. Dickey will start for the Blue Jays in the first game on Thursday and he is 1-2 with a 5.30 earned run average in three starts. Dickey was hammered in his last start on April 10, when he yielded five runs and six hits (2 homers) in seven innings. He has given up five or more runs twice on the season.
In nine career matchups (5 starts) against Minnesota, the right-handed knuckleballer has a 2-2 mark to go along with a 6.11 ERA.
The Blue Jays will send Dustin McGowan to the mound in the nightcap and he has split his first two starts this season. McGowan defeated Baltimore last Friday with 6 1/3 shutout innings and scattered five hits to improve to 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA. McGowan bounced back from a loss to the New York Yankees, who posted four runs and eight hits against him through 2 2/2 frames.
McGowan, a right-hander, has faced the Twins six times (2 starts) in his career and is 1-0 with a 1.10 ERA.
The Twins turn to Kyle Gibson in the matinee affair Thursday and he hopes to stay unbeaten on the season. Gibson has a 2-0 record and a stingy 1.59 ERA through both of his starts and last took the rubber on Friday in a 10-1 pounding of Kansas City.
Gibson limited the Royals to a run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He did walk four batters and struck out three for the second time this season. The righty topped Cleveland with five innings of one-run ball on April 5 and has never faced the Blue Jays.
Veteran Mike Pelfrey gets the call for the Twins in the second game and is searching for his first win of the season. Pelfrey has an 0-2 mark in two starts with a 7.84 ERA and was dealt the loss in a 6-1 decision to Oakland on April 10, when he gave up six runs and nine hits in five innings.
Pelfrey, who allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings in his season debut April 4 at Cleveland, owns a 1-1 mark in two career starts with a 3.75 ERA against the Blue Jays.
Toronto was 5-1 against the Twins last season.