Cliff Johnson homered twice and drove in four runs and Garth Iorg had three RBI to lead the Blue Jays to an 8-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins last night in Toronto.
Toronto, winning its third straight and eighth in 10 games, is nine games over .500, best in team history. The Blue Jays remained 1 1/2 games behind first-place Baltimore in the AL East. The Twins lost their third in a row and 18th in 25 games.
Winner Jim Acker (1-0) pitched five innings of two-hit ball in his first major league start after 14 relief appearances. Acker struck out four, walked three and yielded one run before being relieved by Roy Lee Jackson and Randy Moffitt.
Toronto got four runs in the first inning. Damaso Garcia led off with a triple and after Lloyd Moseby walked, Iorg singled to score Garcia. Johnson then homered off Brian Oelkers (0-4).
The Blue Jays made it 6-1 with two homers in the sixth. Johnson led off with his 14th homer of the season, 30 feet up into the left field bleachers. Two outs later, Willie Upshaw hit his 12th.
"This is one of my favorite parks," said Johnson, who has hit eight in Exhibition Stadium. "The thing I like about it is you don't have to hit it flush to get it out."
The Blue Jays have hit 18 home runs in eight games. They have 70 this season, compared to 106 in 1982.