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HOU@TOR: Morrow fans nine over six innings in victory

The Twins have flourished since removing the target on their backs at Target Field, taking three straight over the Royals for a series sweep to end a nine-game home losing streak that dated back to last season.

Now, with Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire back in the fold following his two-day absence from the club to attend a funeral, the Twins plan to keep up their improved defense of their home turf when they host the Blue Jays for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday.

"One of our goals this season is to win at home and get our fans back to watching good baseball at home," Gardenhire said. "Our starting pitchers went deep, so a lot of good things happened. We want to win; we want to play well here. We owe it to our fans."

Toronto continues its road trip at Minnesota after taking two of three from American League East rival Baltimore at Camden Yards. The Blue Jays erupted for 11 runs and 17 hits in Sunday's victory in the series finale against the Orioles.

Now, Toronto aims to keep its offensive momentum going against Minnesota starter and old foe Phil Hughes, who signed with the Twins this offseason after playing for the Yankees since he made his Major League debut in 2007.

The Blue Jays, who homered three times in Sunday's win, have hit 15 home runs against Hughes in 116 2/3 innings. No team in the Majors has given out more souvenir baseballs in the outfield seats at Hughes's expense than Toronto.

Meanwhile, catcher Kurt Suzuki is the lone Twin who has homered against Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow. Morrow will take the hill at Target Field six days after recording his first quality start of 2014 against the Astros at Rogers Centre.

Morrow gave up only three runs over six innings and struck out nine Houston batters on April 9.

"I thought he was very aggressive tonight and he had that look about him, too," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said following Morrow's last outing. "He was confident and that's what he's capable of doing. Everybody has seen him around here, when he's out there, he's pretty [darn] good. So it's something to build off of."

Blue Jays: Bautista climbing home run lists
• Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista homered in Sunday's 11-3 win against the Orioles, tying him with George Bell for the fourth-most home runs in the combined months of April and May in franchise history with 29. Bautista now has 109 home runs as a Blue Jay and needs six more to tie Bell for fourth on Toronto's all-time list.

• Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 13 games by finishing 2-for-6 with two runs scored and two strikeouts on Sunday at Baltimore.

Twins: Club showing patience at the plate
• Minnesota entered Sunday leading the Majors by drawing 53 walks in its first 11 games. The Twins built on that total in a 4-3 win against the Royals, earning six free passes in the victory.

Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe each drew a walk on Sunday, upping their shared team-leading total to nine. Joe Mauer and Aaron Hicks are tied for second with eight bases on balls apiece.

• Jason Kubel's seven-game hitting streak came to an end on Sunday, when he finished 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout in Sunday's 4-3 win against the Royals.

Worth noting
• Dozier hit .292 last season against the Blue Jays, with a homer and four RBIs.

• Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion is batting .353 (12-for-34) with a home run and five RBIs against Hughes.

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