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Twins blank Jays, win playoff series for first time since 2002

MINNEAPOLIS — Carlos Correa went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and the Minnesota Twins held on for a 2-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday to complete a sweep in a best-of-three American League wild-card series.

Minnesota will face the Houston Astros in the AL Division Series. The Twins secured their first playoff series win since 2002, when they beat Oakland in the ALDS.

Toronto tallied nine hits, all singles, and stranded nine runners on base. The Blue Jays scored one run in two playoff games after averaging 4.6 runs per game in the regular season.

Twins right-hander Sonny Gray (1-0) struck out six batters in five scoreless innings. He allowed five hits and issued two walks.

Five Twins relievers combined for four scoreless innings. Hard-throwing closer Jhoan Duran punctuated the bullpen’s performance by working around a single to strike out the side in the ninth to earn his second save in as many days.

Blue Jays right-hander Jose Berrios (0-1) allowed one run in three-plus innings. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out five.

The game remained scoreless until the fourth, when the Twins grabbed a 2-0 lead.

Royce Lewis drew a walk against Berrios to lead off the inning, which prompted a quick hook from Blue Jays manager John Schneider. He replaced Berrios with left-hander Yusei Kikuchi.

The pitching change failed to pay off for Toronto. Max Kepler reached on an infield single in the next at-bat, and Donovan Solano walked to load the bases with nobody out.

Correa delivered with a single to left-center field to drive in Lewis. Kepler scored the Twins’ second run moments later on a double-play grounder by Willi Castro.

A baserunning blunder cost the Blue Jays in the top of the fifth. They had runners on second and third with two outs for Bo Bichette when Gray picked off Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to end the inning.

Toronto had another prime scoring chance in the sixth when it loaded the bases with one out. Matt Chapman hooked a line drive that could have tied the game just foul down the left field line, and on the next pitch he grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the frame.

–Tom Musick, Field Level Media

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