MINNEAPOLIS - Travis Snider couldn't help but slowly jog toward first base, watching where his second hit of the night was going.
The Blue Jays rookie hit two home runs, including a go-ahead two-run shot in the eighth inning, as Toronto rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins 8-6 Monday night.
"There's a certain level for the game that you try to have, but sometimes in those situations you kind of want to stand there and watch it," he said. "You just try and do what you can to put the bat down and run around the bases the right way. It's one of those where it's hard not to watch sometimes."
Lyle Overbay added a two-run home run for Toronto, which has beaten Minnesota 10 straight times since June 28, 2007. Aaron Hill, Alex Rios and Scott Rolen each had three hits in Toronto's 19-hit attack.
Rod Barajas led off the eighth inning with a double to right-centre off Luis Ayala (1-1). Immediately after a visit from pitching coach Rick Anderson, Ayala left a ball over the plate that Snider hit it into the upper deck in right field for his first career multi-homer game.
Trailing 6-3 after five innings, Overbay hit a two-run home run in the sixth, and Rolen had an RBI single in the seventh to tie the game.
Toronto manager Cito Gaston had hoped to give his beleaguered bullpen a rest. Blue Jays' relievers combined to allow 10 earned runs in 10 1-3 innings during the weekend's three-game series in Cleveland.
Instead, Brian Tallet, Jason Frasor (1-0) and Scott Downs allowed two runs in five innings after starter Jesse Litsch left with stiffness in his right elbow. With a runner on third and nobody out, Downs struck out Delmon Young, Joe Crede and Nick Punto to end the eighth inning.
B.J. Ryan allowed two hits in pitching a scoreless ninth for his first save.
It was the best statistical outing for Ryan, who had 32 saves last year, but blew a save last Tuesday and allowed three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning Saturday, leading Gaston at least think about other potential closers.
"You just continue to work hard and put you in a place to succeed and good things will happen," Ryan said.
After scoring a combined one run on 11 hits in two straight losses in Chicago, Minnesota had 11 hits, including an RBI triple by Brian Buscher. Eight of nine starters had at least one hit.
"That game wasn't about our offence. We hit the ball pretty good. That game was about pitching. When we score six we normally have a good chance to win," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.
Twins starter Kevin Slowey struggled for the second straight start, allowing five runs and a career-high 13 hits in 5 1-3 innings. He allowed five runs on nine hits - including two home runs - in six innings of a win over Seattle on Wednesday. He had a 2.13 in 25 spring innings.
"I'm sure I'll go back these next couple of days and go back to look at what I was doing then. But there's nothing that I can think of now where I can say I was doing this in spring and I'm not doing it now," he said.
Slowey allowed five hits in the first two innings, but he was helped by a pair of double plays. The latter came when Justin Morneau fielded a grounder, stepped on first and threw across the diamond to beat a diving Adam Lind back to third base.
But Litsch gave up five hits, including a home run to Jason Kubel and a two-run single to Punto, in the bottom of the inning.
Before leaving, Litsch allowed seven hits and four runs in three innings. He allowed five runs and seven hits - including a career-high three homer - in six innings of a loss to Detroit last Wednesday. Gaston said an MRI would be performed Tuesday, adding Litsch was "a little sore" in his last start.
Overbay had an RBI single in the fourth and a two-run home run in the sixth off Slowey. Snider hit a solo home run in the fifth inning.
"From an offensive standpoint we're swinging the bat really well right now," Snider said. "Eight games into it you don't want to get too excited, but it's a good sign for us."
Notes: Buscher got his first start of the year at third base for Minnesota. Crede, whose acquisition sent Buscher to the bench, started the first seven games. ... Toronto, which walked 10 batters in Sunday's loss at Cleveland, allowed two free passes. ... The game was the first of Minnesota's Market Monday promotion where the price of Home Run Porch seats - usually US$21 - is based on the close of the Dow Jones Industrial Average the previous Friday. Priced at $8 this week, the area was approximately 40 per cent full.
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