The Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins are done playing games that have any playoff implications.
They'll both be done with the season following a three-game series that starts Monday night at Rogers Centre.
After splitting a four-game set with the New York Yankees , who are tied with Baltimore for the AL East lead, the Blue Jays (70-89) are closing what's been a rough season. Even if it sweeps this series, Toronto would finish with its fewest victories since going 67-94 in 2004.
Toronto gave away a 5-1 lead in Sunday's 9-6 loss, its 18th in 28 games in September.
The Blue Jays, though, might head into this series with some confidence with a 13-6 record against Minnesota since the start of 2010 after splitting a four-game series at Target Field in May.
Toronto is expected to open this series with Aaron Laffey (4-6, 4.52 ERA) on the hill.
The left-hander has been bothered by a sore back, but manager John Farrell said Saturday that he's "working through" it.
If Laffey makes the start, it will be his final appearance in a busy season. He's at 159 1-3 innings between Triple-A and Toronto after logging 57 total in 2011.
"Honestly, he's running on fumes. His stuff is not as sharp and crisp, but you can't take anything away from what he did tonight," Farrell said after Laffey threw five innings of five-hit ball in Tuesday's 4-0 road win over the Orioles.
The southpaw was 0-4 with a 5.45 ERA in his previous eight appearances, which included two out of bullpen.
Laffey will get his first look at the Twins (66-93) this season. He's 5-2 with a 4.24 ERA in nine starts versus Minnesota.
The Twins open this series after dropping two of three to AL Central-leading Detroit, which ruined Minnesota's home finale Sunday with a 2-1 victory.
Regardless of how this series pans out, the Twins will finish with fewer than 70 wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1999-00.
Winner of eight of 13 on the road, Minnesota will give the ball to Esmerling Vasquez (0-2, 5.88) on Monday.
The right-hander is looking to build off his best outing of the season, six innings of two-run ball in Tuesday's 5-4 win over the Yankees. Vasquez gave up 15 runs in his previous four starts after getting called up from Triple-A Rochester on Sept. 1.
"I tried to throw strikes and put everything together, and I feel pretty good for that," Vasquez told the Twins' official website.
This will be his first start and second appearance against Toronto.
The Twins don't have much to play for in this series other than to make a good impression on management and build some momentum heading into the offseason, but Joe Mauer has a chance to win a fourth AL batting crown as he's hitting .323 after Sunday's 3-for-4 effort.
Mauer is 9 for 22 with a homer off Laffey, who might not have to face slugger Josh Willingham , who has missed the last five games with a sprained left shoulder.
Edwin Encarnacion , third in the AL with 42 homers, is questionable for Toronto after leaving Sunday's game in the seventh inning with back tightness.
The Blue Jays have won 16 of 22 at home against Minnesota. These clubs last played in Toronto in their first series of 2011.
|September 28, 2012||Eduardo Escobar||Day-to-Day||Left game - left elbow contusion|
|September 26, 2012||Samuel Deduno||Day-to-Day||Left game - left eye irritation|
|September 11, 2012||Joe Mauer||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|September 09, 2012||Cole De Vries||15-Day DL||Cracked rib|
|September 02, 2012||Josh Willingham||Day-to-Day||Slightly strained left hamstring|
|August 28, 2012||Denard Span||15-Day DL||Strained right sternoclavicular joint|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|September 29, 2012||Ricky Romero||Day-to-Day||Left game - left knee discomfort|
|September 16, 2012||Edwin Encarnacion||Day-to-Day||Sore right big toe|
|September 04, 2012||J.A. Happ||60-Day DL||Fractured right foot|
|August 27, 2012||Henderson Alvarez||Day-to-Day||Left game - left shin contusion|
|August 27, 2012||Aaron Laffey||Day-to-Day||Left game - left calf contusion|
|August 26, 2012||Jose Bautista||15-Day DL||Left wrist inflammation|
TORONTO (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins paid the price for a double play that didn't get turned.
Anthony Gose singled home the winning run in the 10th inning and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Twins 6-5 on Monday night.
While the game was decided in extra innings, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the key moment came in the sixth when third baseman Trevor Plouffe threw home on a bases-loaded grounder instead of trying to start what could have been an inning-ending double play.
"Those little things end up killing you in the end and they did tonight," Gardenhire said.
After tying it with a two-out homer in the ninth, Toronto won it in the 10th. Rookie Adeiny Hechavarria started the rally with a one-out single off Brian Duensing (4-12) and moved to second on a wild pitch.
Pinch-hitter J.P. Arencibia struck out on a pitch that bounced away from catcher Drew Butera , whose throw to first hit Arencibia in the helmet and rolled into foul territory. Hechavarria appeared to score, but home plate umpire Marvin Hudson called Arencibia out for running inside the line. Manager John Farrell came out to argue and was ejected for the second time this season.
"I saw it as J.P. was on the line," Farrell said. "Obviously after seeing a replay Marvin made the right call."
Gose made the call moot by following with a bouncing single up the middle, scoring Hechavarria.
Adam Lind went 4 for 4 and Brandon Lyon (4-0) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top half of the 10th to earn the win in front of a season-low crowd of 12,359.
Toronto tied it in the ninth when Yan Gomes hit a two-out homer, his fourth, snapping Glen Perkins ' streak of 12 straight successful saves.
"I wouldn't take the pitch back," Perkins said. "It's what I wanted to throw, where I wanted to throw it. The guy did a good job of hitting it.
"This is the third time I've got beat on that pitch this year so I think I've got to reevaluate throwing it there," Perkins said. "That's the third home run hit on a fastball down there. I've got to think about that this winter."
Plouffe homered and had three RBIs for the Twins, who lost their third straight.
"We had our closer in the game," Gardenhire said. "It was supposed to be our ballgame and it didn't work out."
Three-time AL batting champion Joe Mauer went 1 for 5, dropping his average to .322. Mauer came in two points behind Detroit's Miguel Cabrera in the batting race, and two points ahead of Angels rookie Mike Trout .
Gardenhire doesn't expect to protect Mauer's average by taking him out of the lineup in either of the final two games.
"He wants to be in there battling for it," he said.
Lind's RBI single in the first inning gave the Blue Jays the lead. Toronto starter Aaron Laffey hit Chris Parmalee to begin the second and Plouffe followed with a drive to center that bounced off a television camera. The homer was his 24th.
Plouffe hit a two-out RBI double in the third, and Mauer made it 4-1 with an RBI single in the fifth to score Jamey Carroll , who had singled and moved to second on shortstop Hechavarria's throwing error.
Toronto chased Esmerling Vasquez with a two-run sixth. Brett Lawrie walked and Lind picked up his third single before Yunel Escobar moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt. After Kelly Johnson walked to load the bases, Hechavarria followed with a grounder to third. Rather than trying to start a 5-4-3 double play, Plouffe threw home to get Lawrie, but Hechavarria beat Drew Butera 's relay to first.
"You can't throw the ball home there, we've got to try and turn two," Gardenhire said. "We didn't, we went the other way.
"Trevor stated there was speed at home plate and he didn't think we could do it, but we have to turn two there. That's a double play ball. That's a big play."
Jeff Mathis made it big by lining the next pitch past third base for a two-run double, cutting it to 4-3. Alex Burnett came on and caught Gose looking to end the inning.
The Twins replied with a run in the seventh against Brett Cecil . Ben Revere singled, stole second and scored on Carroll's base hit through the right side.
Toronto cut it to 5-4 in the seventh when Lind doubled off Tyler Robertson , his fourth hit of the game, scoring Lawrie from first base.
The Blue Jays put runners at first and third with two outs in the eighth, but Jared Burton struck out Rajai Davis to preserve the one-run lead.
Making just his sixth major league start, Vasquez allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He walked three and struck out one.
"He did a real nice job moving the ball in and out and gave us a great opportunity," Gardenhire said.
Laffey allowed four runs, three earned, and eight hits in five innings.
The last-place Twins are short-handed for their final series. Slugger Josh Willingham , who leads the team with 35 home runs, missed his sixth straight game with a sore left shoulder and is unlikely to play again.
Ryan Doumit has a sore thumb and Justin Morneau , who has battled lingering pain from a left wrist injury and is hitless in 15 at bats, will only be used in an emergency, Gardenhire said.
NOTES: OF Denard Span was also held out of Minnesota's starting lineup but came on as a defensive replacement in the eighth. ... Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion , who left Sunday's game with soreness in his left shoulder and neck, did not play. ... RHP Chad Jenkins will start for Toronto on Tuesday in place of RHP Carlos Villanueva , who has worked a career-high 125 1-3 innings. The move also gives the Blue Jays an additional look at Jenkins, a first-round draft pick in 2009. ... RHP Anthony Swarzak will start for the Twins on Tuesday in place of RHP Samuel Deduno , who left a Sept. 26 start at New York with irritation in his left eye. ... Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky threw out the first pitch.