They had four base runners in the inning — one on an error and three on walks — but couldn't score. Having Jose Reyes picked off at first base didn't help.
The missed opportunity in the first was basically the game as the Minnesota Twins snapped a six-game losing streak with a 6-0 victory. Second baseman Brian Dozier drove in four runs — three on his eighth homer of the season in the seventh — and right-hander Mike Pelfrey pitched six innings.
"We had the pressure on him there and we came up empty, Pelfrey was scattering out there early on and then he settled in," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "We couldn't get anything going that's the bottom line. It was really our only opportunity in the first, and we came up empty."
The Twins won at Rogers Centre for the first time since April 3. 2011. They had lost eight of nine games in Toronto dating back to July 7, 2010.
Pelfrey (4-6) held the Blue Jays (42-45) to a season-low three hits and three walks in his first outing since June 18 because of a back strain that put him on the disabled list.
"Pelf got off to a little bit of a rocky start there with some walks but got going and got on a pretty good run," Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He said he just changed his delivery a little bit. He actually got the pitches where he wanted to a little better so maybe that was a good thing."
Blue Jays' right-hander R.A. Dickey (8-9) allowed seven hits, two walks and six runs in seven innings after winning his two previous starts.
"I felt great," Dickey said. "My velocities were there. I gave up another three-run home run, which has kind of been my bane this year — the home run ball. That's not ordinary for me. If that slows down I anticipate it being a lot better. But a three-run home run is tough to overcome when you've already given up three. Just try to go back out there and build off of feeling good, and good velocity, and see what happens."
Dickey also hit a batter in the sixth inning, left fielder Oswaldo Arcia, who Arcia suffered a bruised hand and left the game for Clete Thomas in the seventh.
Pelfrey tweaked his left groin during the start.
"It's fine, he pitched through it no problems and he'll be fine for his next start," Gardenhire said.
"That was in the first," Pelfrey said. "After that, I think my tempo slowed down in the windup with a little pause. I think in the first inning, I didn't have that pause, and I think that was because of the adrenalin. So I slowed my tempo down and I was a lot more effective."
The Twins (37-47) scored three runs in the third. Chris Parmelee led off with a double and took third on Aaron Hicks' single. Parmelee was out between third and home in a rundown on Eduardo Escobar's comebacker to Dickey. Dozier's groundout to second scored one run, Jamey Carroll's double bit the left-field line to score a run and Joe Mauer's single made the score 3-0.
"I felt pretty good, gave up a couple of hits with runners in scoring position," Dickey said. "Something that's tough about the knuckleball is that you get a wild pitch or a passed ball, and then the next pitch is a groundball and you could've been out of the inning.
"I mean, you have all kinds of scenarios that you have to kind of navigate, but for the most part I was right in my lane, and threw a whole lot of strikes, and try to build off it."
Parmelee led off the seventh with a ground-rule double to left centre and Hicks walked. Escobar forced Parmelee at third and Dozier followed with his eighth homer of the season to put the Twins into a 6-0 lead. Dozier has a six-game hitting streak.
"I thought Dickey pitched pretty good," Gibbons said. "They threw some hits out there to score those three early, and then he was in control. He got into a little bit of trouble there at the end, then of course that home run ball, that's what happens with those, guaranteed runs. But we didn't score any anyways."
Left-hander Caleb Thielbar, right-hander Jared Burton and left-hander Glen Perkins each pitched an inning for the Twins.
Left-handers Darren Oliver and Juan Perez each pitched an inning for the Blue Jays.
NOTES: Attendance at Rogers Centre was 37,034. ...Blue Jays RHP Kyle Drabek (elbow surgery) was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on Friday and assigned on option to single-A Dunedin, where he has pitched three games (0-1, 10.13 earned-run average) on his medical rehabilitation assignment. ...3B Brett Lawrie (left ankle sprain) of Langley, B.C., was 0-for-6 after two games with single-A Lansing on his rehabilitation assignment. ...Davis snapped a 0-for-17 slump with a single in the fourth. ...The Blue Jays signed RHP Clinton Hollon, a second-round draft selection (47th overall). The club has signed 23 players from the draft. ...RHP Todd Redmond (0-1, 3.52 ERA) will start Sunday's series finale for Toronto against Guelph, Ont., native LHP Scott Diamond (5-7, 5.18 ERA).Suggest a correction