TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Blue Jays needed this type of outing from David Wells.
Wells allowed three runs on nine hits in the Blue Jays' 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday to become the majors' first 18-game winner.
"It was an important win for us, and for him," Toronto manager Jim Fregosi said.
The Blue Jays are 3 1/2 games behind Oakland in the AL wild-card race, but Anaheim, Cleveland and Boston are ahead of them.
Despite the win, Wells is 3-3 with a 6.40 ERA in eight outings since starting the All-Star game.
"This was nice to have, especially after having three or four bad outings in a row," Wells (18-5) said.
Wells settled down after allowing two runs in the first, finishing with a nine-hitter to equal his career high in wins, previously done in 1998 with the New York Yankees. The 18 wins are the most by a Blue Jays left-hander.
"Oh well," Wells said. "To me it don't matter, as long as we win. We're in a pennant race here, and it's important to stay close to the teams ahead of us."
Wells walked none and struck out seven in his seventh complete game of the year. He has 11 walk-free games this season, and has issued just 28 overall.
"This was vintage David Wells," Fregosi said. "He gave up a couple of runs early, but then he came back and pitched really well."
Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Matt Lawton and David Ortiz. The Twins made it 3-0 when Ortiz grounded into a double play in the third.
"It didn't look too good for a while, but I settled down," Wells said.
Down 3-1 in the seventh, the Blue Jays took the lead on Shannon Stewart's RBI single, catcher Danny Ardoin's passed ball and Jose Cruz's run-scoring single off Hector Carrasco (3-3).
"Once he got the lead, Wells became unhittable," Minnesota's Denny Hocking said.
The Blue Jays added two runs in the eighth on Todd Greene's solo homer, and Stewart's RBI grounder.
Notes: Cruz batted in the third spot for just the sixth time this season. ... The attendance was 32,627. ... Minnesota's Eric Milton, who got a no-decision, hasn't lost since July 19. ... Milton has pitched at least six innings in 20 of his 27 starts. He had given up 13 runs in his previous two starts. ... Left-hander Jimmy Key won 17 games for Toronto in 1987 and Wells matched it last season.
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