Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 7/6/13
Here they were going again. Like so many Twins defeats this season, a rocky first inning appeared to be putting them away before two-thirds of their lineup had even picked up a bat. Three straight walks from starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey in the opening inning, and Toronto was already on the way to extending a painful Minnesota losing skid, not to mention the Twin Cities franchise's dreadful fortunes north of the border. But Saturday's 6-0 Twins win at the Rogers Centre wasn't like their usual early-innings snafus. Nor did it resemble most of their outings on the Blue Jays' famed, carpet-style turf. Pelfrey zeroed in and coaxed a two-out ground-out to second base off Rajai Davis' bat, and the Twins' second-longest futility streak of 2013 began to meet its demise. The difference, in manager Ron Gardenhire's eyes, was simple. His team smiled more. He implored them to Friday night during a much-discussed team meeting in the visitors' clubhouse following a 4-0 loss, Minnesota's sixth in a row. With a group of grown men that entered the last week of June with an apparent chance to climb back toward .500 floundering once again, some simplistic, youthful boyishness was in order. For one early afternoon outside the United States, it worked. "I told them we're gonna have some fun and we're gonna play the game," Gardenhire said. "Today, we come out and everyone's running around, the dugout was hooting and hollering. "Little more fun." Pelfrey was certainly enthused to be back from his stint on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain. Despite throwing nearly 50 pitches in the first two innings, he settled down and earned his first and Minnesota's fourth shutout of the year. With the help of two double plays and a prevented theft courtesy of catcher Joe Mauer, Pelfrey didn't allow a runner past first following the opening frame. "That was big, a big performance," Gardenhire said. "I'm looking at his pitch count in the first place; he throws 50 or 48 pitches thru the second inning and I'm going, 'Oh, goodness gracious.' We need him to get deep." Pelfrey -- who made his first start since June 18 -- also received a big-time lift from the guy manning the base directly behind him. In addition to retiring Davis in the first and helping turn both of Minnesota's double plays, second baseman Brian Dozier batted 2-for-4 with a career-high four RBI, including three on a home run to left field that made it 6-0 in the seventh. Dozier and the Twins lineup were able to figure out knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey by patiently waiting for pitches that hung up in the strike zone. More importantly, a team that entered the Toronto series batting just .252 with runners on base produced six runs on seven hits. "First, people have to get on, then you have to knock them in," Gardenhire said. "It's pretty interesting to try and figure out a game plan against (Dickey). I said, 'High, let it fly; low let it go.' I don't know if that was our theory today, but we won." In doing so, Minnesota beat an American League Eastern Division team for the first time in nine tries and handled the Blue Jays for just the sixth time in the teams' last 24 meetings. The Twins can snag their first series win in Toronto since 2005 when Ontario native Scott Diamond starts on the mound Sunday. Follow Phil Ervin on Twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Byron Scott: D’Angelo Russell’s immaturity ‘at times’ a problem

Kevin Love: Shoulder injury ‘just a stinger’

Nets’ Joe Johnson would ‘welcome’ a trade

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Seven teams that must target a quarterback in 2016 NFL draft

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker