Santana homers, Ober fans 10 as red-hot Twins beat Blue Jays 5-1 for 17th win in 20 games

TORONTO (AP) — Carlos Santana hit a three-run home run, Bailey Ober matched his career high by striking out 10 over 6 1/3 shutout innings and the Minnesota Twins won for the 17th time in 20 games, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 on Sunday.

The Twins have won six consecutive series for the first time since September 2010.

Minnesota lost 13 of its first 20 games this season before a 12-game winning streak turned things around.

“Seventeen in 20 is pretty cool to hear, especially where we started at,” Ober said. “I think everyone is just taking it day by day and excited to show up and go out there and play.”

Santana homered for the third straight game north of the U.S. border, extending to 20 Minnesota’s streak of games in Toronto with at least one home run. The Twins homered in 21 straight games at Kansas City between July 30, 1998, and Aug. 25, 2001.

Santana also homered in three straight games from April 25-27.

Max Kepler added a two-run double for the Twins, extending his career-best hitting streak to 14 games.

The game was scoreless until Kepler reached on a one-out fielding error by third baseman Ernie Clement in the seventh inning. Willi Castro followed with a single and Alex Kirilloff grounded into a fielder’s choice before Santana drilled his seventh home run on a 2-0 pitch from Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah.

“He was behind in the count, he tried to make an out and he threw a changeup, and I got a good swing,” Santana said.

It was Santana’s second homer in 10 career at-bats against Manoah.

Ober (4-1) allowed just one hit, keeping the Blue Jays off the bases until Vladimir Guerrero Jr. lined a two-out single to center in the fourth. Bo Bichette struck out looking to end the inning.

Ober threw 23 of his 104 pitches in the first, which he said made him more aggressive from then on.

“The mindset kind of shifted going into the second inning to just get ahead early,” Ober said. “I felt like once I was able to do that I was able to get into a groove and kind of be in control of the game.”

Ober is 4-0 with a 2.16 ERA over his past seven starts.

“Bailey was awesome,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He was just fantastic.”

Ober walked none in his fourth win in five starts. The right-hander left after ending a 10-pitch at bat by striking out Daulton Varsho for the first out of Toronto’s seventh. Cole Sands came on in relief and walked Guerrero, gave up a single to Bichette and loaded the bases by hitting Davis Schneider with a pitch.

Kody Funderburk replaced Sands and Danny Jansen, pinch-hitting for Daniel Vogelbach, drove in Toronto’s first run with a sacrifice fly. Isiah Kiner-Falefa struck out to end the threat.

“Today was a Funderburk kind of day,” Baldelli said.

Funderburk got five outs and Jhoan Duran finished for the Twins.

Making his second start of the season after returning from a sore shoulder, Manoah (0-2) allowed three runs — none earned — and four hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out six. Manoah lowered his ERA from 13.50 to 4.91.

“I felt great,” Manoah said. “I felt like I was able to mix in all my pitches. I was kind of just attacking really well, except for the one walk.”

Guerrero drew cheers from the crowd of 32,200 in the first when he caught Carlos Correa’s soft liner, then cartwheeled toward first base to try to double up Edouard Julien.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Chris Paddack (4-1, 4.34 ERA) starts Tuesday when the Twins return home for a three-game series against the Yankees. LHP Carlos Rodón (3-2, 3.56) goes for New York.

Blue Jays: RHP José Berríos (4-3, 2.85 ERA) starts Monday when Toronto visits Baltimore for three games. RHP Corbin Burnes (3-2, 2.83) starts for the Orioles.

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