Major League Baseball
Preview
Minnesota at Toronto
When: 7:07 PM ET, Monday, July 23, 2018
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Blue Jays have a long way to go before getting back into playoff contention, but they can be a pest in the final two months of the season - especially on their home field. The Blue Jays go for their 16th win in 22 contests at Rogers Centre on Monday night to open a three-game set against the Minnesota Twins, who were cooled off when they got swept over the weekend.

Toronto rallied late on Sunday for a 5-4 victory to complete a three-game sweep of major league-worst Baltimore as Yangervis Solarte broke out of a slump with a two-run homer and an RBI double. Outfielder Randal Grichuk is 7-of-20 over his last five games for Toronto (46-52), which won two of three contests at Minnesota (44-53) from April 30-May 2. The Twins were rolling before the All-Star break with nine wins in 11 contests to pull within 7 1/2 games of first-place Cleveland in the American League Central but lost all three at last-place Kansas City after the Midsummer Classic. Minnesota managed just three hits in the 5-3 loss to the Royals on Sunday and Eddie Rosario went 0-for-3 to end his nine-game hitting streak.

TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), TVA Sports, Sportsnet (Toronto)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins LH Adalberto Mejia (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Luis Santos (0-0, 7.88)

Mejia returns to the Twins for his second start of 2018 after spending most of the season with Triple-A Rochester. The 25-year-old Dominican, who went 4-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 21 starts last year, gave up four runs and six hits over four innings in a no-decision June 30 against the Chicago Cubs. Mejia is 5-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 14 appearances (11 starts) with Rochester in 2018 and lost his only career start against Toronto last year.

With Blue Jays opting to send Marco Estrada for a rehab outing instead, Santos is expected to make the first start of his major-league career after 15 relief appearances. The 27-year-old Dominican has allowed one run on six hits over 6 1/3 innings across his last four outings after getting pounded in his 2018 debut. Santos, who owns 25 strikeouts in 24 2/3 major-league innings, gave up one run and took one loss in two appearances spanning 2 2/3 innings against the Twins in 2017.

WALK-OFFS

1. Minnesota RHP Fernando Rodney needs one save to break the tie with Jose Mesa (321) for 19th on the majors' all-time list.

2. Toronto 2B Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is 11-for-21 during a five-game hitting streak to raise his batting average to .281.

3. Twins 1B/DH Logan Morrison (hip) went 0-for-3 with an RBI on Sunday in his return from the disabled list.

PREDICTION: Twins 6, Blue Jays 5
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Minnesota 44-53 L3 29-22 15-31 12-12 19-17 7-12 6-12
Toronto 46-52 W3 27-25 19-27 17-25 12-7 8-15 9-5
Last Meeting
Minnesota Toronto
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
5/2/18 TOR 0 MIN 4 .281 1 .740 .200 0 .527
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota M. Kepler .417 5 1.212
Toronto K. Pillar .455 5 1.227
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota E. Rosario 2 3 4
Toronto K. Morales 2 2 2
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 4.18 .255 28
Toronto 4.33 .245 18
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota E. Rosario .309 120 .879
Toronto T. Hernandez .252 79 .803
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota E. Rosario 19 67 62
Toronto Y. Solarte 17 45 51
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 4.53 .243 865
Toronto 4.50 .239 836