The Twins look to avoid matching the franchise's longest home losing streak in 56 years on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Minnesota (61-79) dropped its ninth straight game at Target Field on Saturday with an 11-2 loss to Toronto (66-76), which received two three-run homers from Adam Lind .
Another defeat for the Twins on Sunday would be the team's first 10-game home losing streak since Sept. 15-29, 1957, when the franchise was still known as the Washington Senators.
Not much has gone right for the Twins during the skid as they've posted a 6.11 ERA, have scored 20 runs and are batting .167 with runners in scoring position.
Mauer, who ranks third in the AL with a .324 average, hasn't played since suffering a concussion on Aug. 19. He took batting practice with the team before Saturday's game but a timetable for his return still hasn't been established.
Toronto's Esmil Rogers (4-7, 4.76 ERA) will try to keep Minnesota's offense grounded after breaking an 11-start winless slump his last time out. Rogers tossed 6 1-3 shutout innings while yielding one hit in a 4-1 win at Arizona on Monday, his first victory since June 18.
He also didn't allow a home run after surrendering eight over 22 1-3 innings in his five August games.
"I just try to do everything I can to be here," said Rogers, who has made 40 appearances including a career-high 16 starts in his first season with the club. "I'm going to get a couple of more opportunities to start and I have to get ready."
Saturday's win was the Blue Jays' ninth in 12 games and improved them to 10-3 at Target Field.
Lind has a 1.011 on-base plus slugging over his last 20 contests with 13 RBIs and a pair of two-homer games, making a good impression as Toronto owns a team option on his contract the next three years.
"Adam's always been a good player for this organization," manager John Gibbons said. "I don't know how the team will stack up next year. But I don't think he needs to audition. He's proven himself over time."
Lind will try to keep it going against Minnesota left-handed rookie Andrew Albers (2-2, 3.96), who was shelled Monday, allowing five runs and nine hits in 1 2-3 innings of a 10-6 win at Houston. He had thrown at least seven innings in four of his first five big league starts.
"Today I left a lot of balls up and left a lot of balls right over the middle and they made me pay," Albers said. "It obviously wasn't a very good day."
Trevor Plouffe is batting .324 through his last 19 contests with eight doubles.
Ryan Doumit is 2 for his last 14 but 3 for 9 off Rogers.
Rogers has never started versus the Twins, going 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA in six relief appearances against them.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|September 08, 2013||Moises Sierra||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower back tightness|
|August 21, 2013||Jose Bautista||15-Day DL||Left hip bone bruise - out for season|
|August 21, 2013||Maicer Izturis||60-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|August 20, 2013||Maicer Izturis||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained left ankle|
|August 17, 2013||Jose Reyes||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|August 12, 2013||Colby Rasmus||15-Day DL||Left oblique strain|
|August 30, 2013||Samuel Deduno||15-Day DL||Right shoulder soreness|
|August 30, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||15-Day DL||Fractured left tibia|
|August 29, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Left shin injury|
|August 20, 2013||Joe Mauer||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 16, 2013||Oswaldo Arcia||Day-to-Day||Sore wrist|
|August 08, 2013||Ryan Doumit||7-Day DL||Concussion|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Esmil Rogers knows the important of pitching well in September despite his team being long out of the playoff picture.
On Sunday, the 28-year-old righty continued making his case to stay in Toronto's starting rotation with his second-straight scoreless outing, helping the Blue Jays beat Minnesota 2-0 to complete a three-game sweep.
Rogers (5-7) allowed three hits and a walk while striking out four over a career-high 7 2-3 innings, and Jose Reyes ' late double broke a scoreless tie. Rogers, who started the season in the bullpen, hasn't allowed a run since allowing two in a relief outing Aug. 27.
"That's the key, finish strong and try to be normal," Rogers said.
"You go home and you obviously think about September," Rogers said. "They think, `how did everybody do in September?' When you finish the season there's already a lot of people who forget a little bit about it . but September is more closer to the finish of the season."
Rogers won back-to-back starts for the first time since June 13 and 18. He outdueled Twins rookie Andrew Albers , who took a no-decision despite a brilliant outing. Albers made his own case for Minnesota's rotation for next year, scattering four hits over seven innings with no walks and a season-high five strikeouts.
"The kid has thrown really well and he did again today," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He'll be in the mix and that's what you want is to be in the mix when you get to spring training."
Albers frustrated Toronto's lineup for much of the afternoon, but the Blue Jays quickly got to Twins reliever Jared Burton (2-9), who came out to start the eighth.
Ryan Goins led off with a single and came around to score on Reyes' double two batters later. Reyes then stole third and scored when Brian Dozier couldn't grab Rajai Davis ' pop-fly in shallow left to make it 2-0.
Goins also made a big play on defense when he threw out Pedro Florimon at the plate in the sixth.
Florimon led off the inning with a double. Alex Presley followed with a single, but Twins third-base coach Joe Vavra lost sight of the ball and held up the speedy Florimon at third. On the next at-bad, Chris Herrmann hit a grounder to Goins, who fired the ball back to catcher J.P. Arencibia rather than go for the double play.
"You've got to tip your hat, that's the play of the game right there," Arencibia said.
The Twins knew it, too.
"He's pretty upset," Gardenhire said of Vavra. "He was bummed about it in the dugout."
Presley eventually advanced to third on Brian Dozier 's long fly, but Oswaldo Arcia grounded out to short and end the threat, drawing loud boos from the home crowd. The boos were almost as loud as the cheers from the healthy contingent of visiting Blue Jays fans, who gave Rogers a standing ovation when he left in the seventh and was replaced by Brett Cecil . Cecil and Sergio Santos combined to close out the eighth and Casey Jannsen pitched the ninth for his 29th save in 31 chances.
Toronto has won 10 of its last 13 games since a season-high seven-game losing streak from Aug. 18-24. The Blue Jays are 11-3 all-time at Target Field, where the Twins have lost 10 straight.
"That's terrible, to be honest with you," Dozier said. "We're not playing very good. Offense, defense, anything."
Notes: The Twins announced several call ups after the game - INF Eduardo Escobar , OF Chris Parmelee , LHP Scott Diamond , RHP Michael Tonkin and RHP Cole De Vries. They also selected the contracts of C Eric Fryer and RHP Shairon Martis . The Twins made room for the moves by transferring RHP Samuel Deduno (shoulder) and OF Wilkin Ramirez (fractured shin) to the 60-day DL. . Blue Jays INF Edwin Encarnacion sat out with a sore left wrist. . Minnesota's bullpen entered the game having allowed 11 runs in 14 1-3 innings against the Blue Jays, including six runs in three innings in Saturday night's loss. "It's really hard for me to say anything bad about those guys in the bullpen, they've been our saviors," Gardenhire said. . Asked if he regularly checks in on injured All-Star catcher Joe Mauer (concussion), Gardenhire quipped: "I said Hi,' at breakfast. Do I need to say more than that? I'm not going to follow him around, you guys do that." Gardenhire said Mauer hit in the batting cages Sunday and followed a regular cardio routine. There is still no timetable for his return. . The Blue Jays have Monday off before beginning a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels at home on Tuesday. RHP Jerome Williams (6-10) is scheduled to start that game against the Angels' Mark Buehrle (11-7). The Twins will host the Angels on Monday in a makeup game from April 17; Pedro Hernandez (3-1) will start for Minnesota against Jered Weaver (9-8).