Minnesota Twins top Blue Jays 7-6

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Twins top Jays 7-6
The Toronto Blue Jays continued their brutal slide out of relevance in the AL East division, falling to the Minnesota Twins 7-6 in front of a home crowd and in the process losing their eighth game out of the past nine. The Blue Jays fall to 41-43 on the season, and are headed into the All-Star break with a disappointing sub .500 record unless they can win their last two games before the break.
Starter Jesse Litsch threw another disappointing game, giving up five runs in just over five innings. He didn’t lose the decision, but didn’t look good on the mound in front of a home crowd of just over 15,000. His season ERA rose to a lousy 7.30 on the season, and he failed to strike out a single batter, walking two instead. Despite his pitching mediocrity, he managed to concede just two runs until the sixth innings, when he let in back-to-back home runs and then walked in a run before getting yanked.
For the Twins, Carl Pavano didn’t do much better, allowing six runs in just over six innings, including three home runs. But he was saved by an eighth innings single from Denard Span which knocked Delmon Young home, allowing the Twins to take a lead they would not relinquish.
End of the road for Litsch?
Litsch, 25, is coming off of major shoulder surgery and will soon see the end of his career in the major leagues temporarily interrupted if he continues pitching with such mediocrity. Jays manager Cito Gaston seemed to hint as much after the game, saying he thought Litsch had been given quite a few chances, and letting him get lit up in the majors would be bad for his confidence.
"You don't let him work it out here until he gets his brain beaten out of him," Gaston said. "Then he'll lose all the confidence he ever had," Gaston continued. "So you have to see. If it keeps going that way, then we might make a decision to do something else. If not, one good, one bad, you might let him work it out."
The pressure will now be on Litsch to throw better. But he said he wasn’t too worried, and that it was simply a matter of making a few minor adjustments.
"It's a matter of 10 pitches. Stuff happens. Left some balls up and I just got to deal with it," said Litsch.
"Losing control at a moment, that's not really me. It's just a matter of working the kinks out. Frustration is setting in a lot more now, but it's one of those things where I've got to go out there and be myself."
Twins rising, Jays falling
The Twins were able to profit off of the unravelling of the Jays to pick up the win. They came into this game having lost two straight and three of their last four after a home series against the Tampa Bay Devils Rays. They’ve been playing really tight baseball as of late, their games usually being decided by one or two runs. Tuesday they managed to eke out the winning run in the eighth to give them their victory.
It puts them virtually tied with Detroit for the lead in the AL Central with a 45-38 record. The Tigers have the same amount of wins, but one less loss for a 45-37 record, meaning a Tigers loss in their next game will put the two tied in the play-off race.
The Jays now will have to do something in order to get their pitching up to par. Their bullpen has shown signs of inconsistency, but was respectable enough on Tuesday, allowing  two runs in just under four innings. Still, they can’t seem to string together nine solid innings of pitching, and if Gaston can’t turn their skid around, he might find himself looking for a job.



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