Indians snap Blue Jays' 4-game win streak
It was a hit and miss night for Toronto Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow.
His Cleveland Indians counterpart was far more consistent.
Morrow struck out nine batters, but also gave up six runs on nine hits, including five doubles and a triple, as the Indians defeated the Blue Jays 6-3 on Tuesday.
"I think I'm making good pitches," said Morrow (2-3). "My stuff's been there. It just seems every time they put the ball into play it gets over the shortstop's head or through a hole. It wears on you."
With the win the Indians (32-20) ended the a four-game winning streak by the Blue Jays (28-27).
Meanwhile, Cleveland right-hander Mitch Talbot (2-1) held the Blue Jays to one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list on May 25. It was his first win since April 11.
"It's good to get back on the winning side of things," Talbot said.
Catcher Carlos Santana was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and centre-fielder Grady Sizemore ended a 0-for-12 drought by driving in two runs with two doubles.
Toronto's Yunel Escobar, who extended his hit streak hit streak to 12 games with a single in the third, added his sixth homer of the season with one out in the ninth against reliever Tony Sipp.
The second inning encapsulated Morrow's highs and lows during the game. Cleveland, which holds the American League's best record, scored a run on doubles by Santana and Sizemore before Morrow struck out the next three batters in the inning.
The Indians added pair in the third started by Michael Brantley's triple, singles by Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-soo Choo, a wild pitch and Santana's sacrifice fly.
Morrow bounced back again, ending the third by striking out Sizemore, his seventh of the game to that point.
Good defence by Cleveland snuffed a potential Blue Jays rally in the fourth.
After singles by J.P. Arencibia and Aaron Hill, first baseman Matt LaPorta made diving play on a smash down the line by Eric Thames and got the out at first as the runners advanced. Then shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera made a nifty play on a slow grounder to nip speedy Rajai Davis at first.
"Defensively we looked alive, offensively we looked alive," Talbot said. "When a guy got on we moved him over and got him in. That's what we were doing early in the season. Hopefully we're getting on track and getting ready to go."
Blue Jays manager John Farrell said the Indians infield defence is better than last year season.
"Particularly, LaPorta," Farrell said. "He made a heck of a play on Thames on a ball right down the line that has a chance to possibly be two runs. And Hannahan has done a great job over there. [Jose] Bautista scalds one to third and he looked like Patrick Roy."
Cleveland parlayed a two-out walk to Travis Buck into three runs in the fifth. Buck scored on Santana's double to right when Hill's low relay to the plate beat the runner but handcuffed Arencibia. Santana took third on the throw.
"If he catches the ball he is likely out at home plate," Farrell said. "I thought the throw beat him on time but the location was basically on his right hip and in a tough spot to receive or catch the ball. But if he catches it, we might be looking at a different story."
Sizemore drove in a run with a double and scored on Orlando Cabrera's single.
"They were hitting some good pitches," Morrow said. "I don't know what to say. I thought I had good stuff. I made the mistake of walking Buck in the fifth. I could have got out of that with no runs. The flip of the coin hasn't been going my way."
The Blue Jays scored twice in the seventh after an error by Cabrera allowed Corey Patterson to score. Juan Rivera then drove in a run on a bloop single to right that should have been caught.