TORONTO (AP) — Called on to make a spot start for the struggling Toronto Blue Jays, Todd Redmond pitched well enough to earn another outing, and then some.
Redmond threw one-hit ball over five innings for his first major league win and the Blue Jays hit three home runs Sunday to beat the slumping Minnesota Twins 11-5.
“He couldn’t have done a better job,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Rajai Davis hit a three-run homer and Jose Reyes and Colby Rasmus also connected for the Blue Jays, who won for the 10th time in 13 meetings with Minnesota.
“We broke loose today,” Gibbons said.
Redmond (1-1) allowed two runs, with three walks and four strikeouts, an effort Davis called “phenomenal.”
“He did a great job to help us win,” Davis said.
Redmond called it “a dream come true.”
“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “I have to give all the credit to all of the hitters today.”
It was Redmond’s first start of the season for Toronto and just the second of his career. The right-hander was called up from Triple-A Buffalo last week after the Blue Jays designated Chien-Ming Wang for assignment.
“He knows the situation,” Gibbons said. “He’s here filling in and has an opportunity to start.”
It was just the second time in six games that a Blue Jays starter has allowed two runs or fewer.
Twins catcher Joe Mauer said Redmond kept the Twins off-balance with deceptive velocity.
“He has a ball that kind of got on you a little bit,” Mauer said. “The ball was jumping out of his hand. It was a tough day for us offensively.”
Toronto took two out of three and has not lost a series against Minnesota since May 2007. The Blue Jays also have not lost a home series to the Twins since May 2005, going 7-0-2 in that stretch.
Aaron Hicks and Trevor Plouffe homered for the Twins, who have lost seven of eight and 12 of 16 to fall a season-worst 11 games below .500.
Davis got two hits and scored three times. Rasmus also singled and doubled, drove in three runs and scored twice.
“They were whacking it pretty good,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “They beat the ball around pretty good on us today.”
Hicks had the only hit off Redmond, a two-run homer in the fifth.
After surrendering a leadoff walk in the first, Redmond retired the next 11 batters in order.
Aaron Loup and Dustin McGowan each worked one inning, Brett Cecil got two outs in the eighth and Neil Wagner got the third before Casey Janssen finished.
All three Blue Jays homers came off Scott Diamond, who lost for the fourth time in six starts. Diamond (5-8) allowed six runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings and matched a career-high with four walks.
Diamond has allowed eight homers in his past four outings.
“It’s frustrating the way it all worked out again,” Diamond said. “I’m really struggling keeping guys in the park.”
Toronto opened the scoring in the fourth when Davis hit a two-out double and Rasmus followed with his 16th homer.
The Twins tied it in the fifth when Hicks followed a one-out walk to Clete Thomas with his seventh homer.
The Blue Jays took the lead for good with a four-run fifth, an inning that started with Reyes hitting a leadoff homer, his fourth.
″(Diamond) kind of unraveled from there,” Gardenhire said. “He just couldn’t make a pitch after the home run.”
Four batters later, after Edwin Encarnacion walked and Mark DeRosa singled, Davis hit a second-deck shot to left.
Minnesota cut it to 6-3 on Chris Parmelee’s grounder in the sixth. Adam Lind hit an RBI double in the bottom half off Anthony Swarzak.
The Blue Jays scored four more in the seventh off Josh Roenicke and Brian Duensing. Rasmus hit an RBI double and scored on Maicer Izturis’ single, and two runs scored on Encarnacion’s triple.
Plouffe made it 11-5 with a two-run homer off Cecil in the eighth, his ninth.
NOTES: Diamond was born about 50 miles west of Toronto in Guelph, Ontario. He faced the Blue Jays for the third time. ... Redmond’s only other big league start came Aug. 18, 2012, with Cincinnati, a 9-7 loss to the Chicago Cubs. ... Minnesota OF Oswaldo Arcia, who left Saturday’s game after he was hit on the right hand by a pitch, was held out of the starting lineup. ... The Twins have lost 10 of 11 against AL East opponents.