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Blue Jays swept out of post-season as Twins earn 1st playoff series win since 2002

The early hook for Jose Berrios will be a hot talking point as the dust settles on another Blue Jays post-season that ended in a first-round sweep.

All the pitching moves in the world won’t matter if the offence doesn’t deliver.

Factor in a big basepath blunder and a lack of timely hitting and it’s no surprise Toronto is still looking for its first playoff victory since 2016.

After a 3-1 victory in Game 1, the Minnesota Twins completed a two-game sweep Wednesday by shutting out the Blue Jays 2-0 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

“I think that we can all look at each other in the face and say collectively we fell short of executing what we wanted to do,” said Blue Jays manager John Schneider.

The Twins, who ended an 18-game playoff losing skid a day earlier, will move on to the AL Division Series versus the Houston Astros.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, were left searching for answers after being swept in the first round for the third time in four years.

“We didn’t score runs,” stated Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette, who has yet to win a big-league playoff game. “You can’t win without scoring runs.”

Offensive woes aside, Schneider’s decision to pull Berrios was a big roll of the dice for a starter who was in form against his former team.

A leadoff walk in the fourth inning ended his day after 47 pitches, 32 of them for strikes. The Twins scored twice in the frame against Yusei Kikuchi for a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

“I pitched my ass off from the first pitch to the last pitch … I don’t feel happy,” Berrios said. “I feel frustrated because I lost.”

Berrios was charged with one earned run in the hard-luck loss. He gave up a walk and three hits while striking out five.

“He had electric stuff,” Schneider said. “Tough to take him out. But I think with the way they’re constructed, you want to utilize your whole roster. It didn’t work out.”

Sonny Gray threw five innings for the win. Five relievers combined on the nine-hit shutout with Jhoan Duran working the ninth for the save.

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