Jimenez Poor Outing Too Much For Bats to Overcome; Blue Jays 11, Indians 9
By Dave Roberts
A day after the Indians and Blue Jays opened the second half of the season with a pitcher’s duel resulting in a 1-0 Tribe win, the bats decided to liven things up in Game two of the series. Saturday’s day game saw a total of six balls leave the ballpark for both teams en route to an 11-9 Jays’ victory over the Tribe.
Both teams’ struggling pitching staffs were on display in a grandiose fashion as this game was never short of fireworks. For the Indians it started with Ubaldo Jimenez, who was looking to continue the hot streak he has been riding since June but unfortunately, control was not there for the right-hander. He managed to only last 2.1 innings as the Jays power bats took advantage of his erratic pitching to the tune of eight runs on seven hits.
The biggest blows came on the two home runs he allowed to Edwin Encarnacion and Yunel Escobar in the third inning before being pulled for Scott Barnes, who allowed two runs on his own. When the dust finally settled on the inning, the Jays had sent 13 men to the plate and scored eight times. Barnes managed to work another inning staving off any further damage but the Indians faced a daunting task trailing 10-2.
Looking for some innings to be eaten Acta turned to Jeremy Accardo for two innings but he was also hit for a solo shot by Encarnacion in the fifth. That home run, the second of the game for Encarnacion, concluded the Blue Jays offensive onslaught at 11 runs. The one bright note to emerge out of this game for Tribe pitching was Esmil Rogers who tossed the final two innings striking out one and allowing just one hit.
On the offensive side of things, it looked like the Indians were going to have a big day at the plate against former Tribe pitcher Aaron Laffey. With bases loaded and no one out in the secondinning the Indians stood poised for breakout inning but managed to plate just two runs when Duncan was hit by a pitch and a double play ball hit by Kotchman ended their big inning prematurely. Shelley Duncan would drive in two more runs on his two-run homer in the 4th inning off Laffey making its 10-4.
The fireworks continued when Michael Brantley hit his fourth homerun of the year off Jays’ reliever Jessie Chavez. Soon after Brantley’s bomb, Casey Kotchman followed suit with his own two-run homer off Chavez putting the game at 11-8. The Indians would move a little bit closer on Hafner’s RBI single to round out the eighth inning but that is where the magic would end as the Tribe fell 11-9.
Photo: Chris Young/The Canadian Press