MINNEAPOLIS – Munenori Kawasaki made an impact in his first game back with the Toronto Blue Jays, who came from two runs down to clobber the Minnesota Twins 9-3 on Tuesday.
Kawasaki, a Toronto fan favorite for his hustle and goofy humor who started the season with Triple-A Buffalo, was called up on Sunday and marked his first start with a 2-for-5 effort.
“It was my first game at a different level, so I was nervous,” Kawasaki said. “I was able to focus my feelings and then just let it all hang out.
“The ball parks are so beautiful, so obviously that’s one big difference from the minors.”
With Toronto trailing 2-0, the left-handed-hitting Kawasaki led off the sixth inning with a double off right-hander Phil Hughes (0-1). The next Blue Jays batter, Jose Bautista, singled Kawasaki home for the first run of a decisive five-run outburst.
Bautista finished with three hits and an RBI, and Brett Lawrie hit a grand slam in the ninth.
Edwin Encarnacion had two hits and an RBI, and Aaron Loup (1-0) won in relief of starter Brandon Morrow, who lasted 3⅔ innings on a day when the temperature was below 2 degrees Celsius. The Blue Jays led 5-2 going into the ninth before Lawrie’s towering drive off Jared Burton put it away.
“I think it just took a little bit of getting used to,” said Lawrie, who drove in five runs. “We didn’t hit today. We just rolled into town, so we kind of just hit in the cages and rolled right out into the game. So it just took a little bit to adjust once we got in the box. Once we got a few hits, it just started snowballing.”
Athletics 10, Angels 9 (11)
In Anaheim, Josh Donaldson drove in Jed Lowrie with an 11th-inning double as Oakland overcame Mike Trout’s game-leveling homer in the ninth to beat the Angels.
Rangers 5, Mariners 0
In Arlington, Texas, Prince Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit back-to-back homers as Robbie Ross limited Seattle to five singles in seven-plus innings.
White Sox 2, Red Sox 1
In Chicago, Alexei Ramirez scored the winning run in the ninth inning on a two-out throwing error by Xander Bogaerts.
Royals 4, Astros 2
In Houston, Yordano Ventura threw seven strong innings for his first major league win to lead Kansas City.
Norichika Aoki finished 1-for-4 in the Royals’ win.
Rays at Orioles — ppd.
Indians at Tigers — ppd.
Cubs at Yankees — ppd.
Giants 3, Dodgers 2 (12)
In San Francisco, Hector Sanchez singled home the winning run with two outs in the 12th inning to give the Giants a win over Los Angeles after rallying to tie the score on Brandon Belt’s RBI double in the ninth.
Pirates 8, Reds 7 (1st)
Reds 7, Pirates 5 (2nd)
In Cincinnati, Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer to end pitcher Gerrit Cole’s winning streak.
Before that, the National League Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night. Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning, giving the Pirates a one-run win.
The teams wore their customary uniforms for the completion of the suspended game, then switched to commemorative No. 42 Jackie Robinson jerseys for the later game, which started 5 minutes later than originally scheduled.
Marlins 11, Nationals 2
In Miami, Giancarlo Stanton tied a career high with five RBIs, including a three-run homer off Stephen Strasburg.
Cardinals 6, Brewers 1
In Milwaukee, Shelby Miller struck out seven and allowed three hits over six innings, and Mark Ellis had two RBIs in his return from the disabled list.
Mets 9, Diamondbacks 0
In Phoenix, Kirk Nieuwenhuis had three hits and three RBIs in his season debut, and Jenrry Mejia pitched five effective innings in a combined three-hitter.
Rockies 3, Padres 2
In San Diego, Juan Nicasio pitched six solid innings and Colorado edged the Padres for a rare road victory.
Braves at Phillies — ppd.