It's always a memorable trip to Toronto for Twins left-hander Scott Diamond, who grew up in nearby Guelph, Ontario, and will get the ball in Sunday's series finale against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
The Twins lefty, who will have family and friends in attendance, also takes to the mound in a better place after snapping a streak of shaky starts in his last outing with a quality start against the Yankees.
Before allowing two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Yankees, Diamond had struggled to the tune of a 7.40 ERA in his last four outings, unable to make it out of the sixth inning each time. The biggest adjustment he made against New York was keeping the ball down in the zone. Now that he's conquered that, Diamond said the biggest thing moving forward is remaining mindful of his game plan.
"Mentally, that was the biggest thing. Just try to calm everything and realize what I'm trying to do out there," Diamond said. "Really trying to work down in the zone. Got a lot more ground balls, just being more confident with it. Threw a lot of offspeed when I was behind in the count and just had confidence with a lot of stuff. It's definitely something I've got to build off."
Diamond and the Twins -- who snapped their six-game losing streak Saturday -- face a Toronto squad that is a similar rut. The Blue Jays have dropped nine of their last 13 after rattling off 11 straight wins.
The Blue Jays turn to right-hander Todd Redmond in Sunday's series finale in attempt to get back to their winning ways. Redmond, 28, will be making his second career start and first for Toronto after allowing just one run in three relief appearances.
Twins: Morneau climbing lists
With 210 home runs, first baseman Justin Morneau is one shy of tying Bob Allison for fourth on the club's all-time list. He's also two hits shy of tying Gary Gaetti for seventh on the franchise's all-time hit list.
• Second baseman Brian Dozier is batting .387 with four doubles, one homer and four walks in his last nine games.
• Oswaldo Arcia is hitting .343 with five doubles, one triple and three homers in his last 22 road games. Hit by an R.A. Dickey pitch Saturday, Arcia left the game with a bruised right hand and is day to day.
Blue Jays: Bautista mashing
Despite Saturday's 0-for-4 performance, Jose Bautista is hitting .424 with two doubles, four homers and eight RBIs in his last nine games.
• Reliever Juan Perez hasn't allowed an earned run in 18 2/3 innings since being called up on May 29.
Toronto has won nine of its last 12 against Minnesota.
• Sunday will be Diamond's second start in Toronto. He is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in two career starts against the Blue Jays.
• The Twins' Joe Mauer has a five-game hitting streak.