Bautista Bash; Blue Jays 5, Indians 4
There was late inning magic once again Saturday night at Progressive Field. Unfortunately, for the Indians, there was not quite enough for the home team.
The Tribe forced extra innings with a run in the ninth, but fell to the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 in ten frames.
Cleveland, which slipped to 47-41, entered the ninth trailing 4-3. This time it was right fielder Travis Buck playing the role of hero. He hit a two-out, RBI double. The hit scored Austin Kearns, pinch running for Travis Hafner, who led off the stanza with a base hit.
Cleveland could not push Buck home, however, and it proved costly. All-Star closer Chris Perez entered the game in the tenth inning. On his first pitch, he gave up a mammoth blast to fellow All-Star Jose Bautista. It was Bautista’s league-leading 31st home run of the year and second of the game.
The Indians went down in order in the bottom of the inning, losing for the second straight night to the Blue Jays.
The Tribe and starting pitcher Josh Tomlin found themselves in an early 3-1 hole before Grady Sizemore knocked a two-run home run to right-center field, tying the game in the fourth inning.
For Tomlin, it was not his best start, but he did keep the Indians in the game, going six innings and allowing four runs, three of them earned.
With the Tigers losing to Kansas City last night, the Indians kept their .5-game lead in the Central Division.
Cleveland will look for a split of this four-game series with Toronto when the two teams close out the first half of the season Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Carlos Carrasco will take the mound for the Tribe.