Jays Beat Bauer, Spoil Encarnacion’s Return to Toronto; Blue Jays 4, Indians 2
Bob Toth | On 08, May 2017
Cleveland’s offensive woes on its three-city road trip continued in its last stop before returning home as Toronto put up four early runs off of Trevor Bauer and Marcus Stroman and the Blue Jays bullpen made it stand in a 4-2 victory over the Indians on Monday night.
The game marked the return of Edwin Encarnacion to his home of eight years and the Indians slugger received several appreciative ovations from the Rogers Centre crowd during the ball game. While he had a big game in his old digs, the rest of his teammates could not get the big hits to put runs on the board against Stroman, who kept the ball down and got three big double plays to aid his cause on the mound.
Defensive plays helped Stroman in the first few innings, as center fielder Kevin Pillar made a nice catch against the wall to take away a big hit from Carlos Santana to start the game. The Indians threatened with back-to-back singles to begin the second by Encarnacion and Jose Ramirez, but a line out by Lonnie Chisenhall and a double play grounder off of the bat of newly recalled Yandy Diaz ended the inning.
The Jays struck for a pair in the bottom of the second with a big two-out hit. Bauer struck out Steve Pearce for the first out before Devon Travis doubled. Darwin Barney grounded back to Bauer for the second out, but Ryan Goins drove a 2-2 fastball high and in the wheelhouse over the wall in right and into the second deck for a key two-run shot to put Toronto on top, 2-0.
Pillar worked a tough walk to start the home half of the third inning as the Blue Jays would add to their advantage. A pop out by Jose Bautista was followed by a double to right, moving Pillar to third. With two in scoring position, Justin Smoak delivered with a single to right. The throw to the plate was cut off, allowing Kendrys Morales to score as Smoak was erased trying to advance, but the damage was done as Toronto doubled its lead to 4-0.
Cleveland had two on and one out in the fourth, but a double play ball off of the bat of Ramirez ended the inning. They put two on to start the fifth, but a pop up followed by another double play ball ended the rally and stranded a runner at third.
Stroman was aided by a Superman-esque play in the sixth to again squash a Cleveland scoring attempt. Santana doubled to lead off the inning and with two outs, Encarnacion drew a walk. Ramirez, who has been clutch in scoring situations since last season, sent a high drive to deep center field that was caught by a diving Pillar to save at least one run and likely more.
The Indians got on the board against an old friend in the eighth to make the game a bit closer. Roberto Perez was walked by Danny Barnes to start the inning and moved to third on a double by Santana. Former Cleveland setup man Joe Smith came on for manager John Gibbons and allowed a single to right by Francisco Lindor. Perez scored easily on the play and Santana waited at third as Lindor got caught in between first and second. He kept the run down going long enough for Santana to break to home and appeared to be trapped in the run down, but Travis ran into Lindor and was called for an interference error, allowing Lindor to take second and Santana to score. Gibbons was tossed by umpire Tom Hallion arguing the call, but Smith would make it a moot point by getting a ground out from Jason Kipnis before striking out both Encarnacion and Ramirez swinging to leave another runner at third base.
The Indians dropped to 17-14 with the loss and are now 3-4 on their road trip and 11-8 on the road overall this season. The win for Toronto pulled the club up to 12-20 on the season and just 5-8 at home.
Stroman improved to 3-2 on the season behind six innings of scoreless baseball. He allowed six hits and walked a pair, but three big double play balls and several web gems in the field behind him kept the scuffling Indians offense from finding its way to home plate. The strong outing came in his first start after being taken out after just three innings of work against the New York Yankees with tightness in his right armpit.
BAUER DROPS ANOTHER
The early hole dug by Bauer was too much for the Tribe to overcome while struggling to score runs on their current road trip. The right-hander managed to eat up some innings and threw 125 pitches on the night (77 strikes), but his four runs allowed proved to be the difference.
He worked six innings, giving up six hits and three walks while striking out six.
DIAZ BACK, BRANTLEY RESTS
Prior to Monday’s game, the Indians recalled the utility man Diaz from Triple-A Columbus to help the team absorb the hopefully temporary absence of Michael Brantley from the starting lineup with a tender ankle. Diaz put up a .395/.509/.558 slash at Columbus in 12 games after being optioned from Cleveland and hit safely in eleven of those games. He had a professional career-high five RBI in a three-hit game on May 1.
To make room on the roster for Diaz, the Indians optioned right-handed reliever Shawn Armstrong back to the Clippers.
The battered Jays roster took another hit as Russell Martin landed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday with nerve inflammation in his left shoulder. The ailment has bothered him since spring training and worsened after a home plate collision a week and a half ago.
Catcher Mike Ohlman was brought up from Triple-A Buffalo to provide catching depth. In order to add him to the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Casey Lawrence was designated for assignment. The team also announced that right-hander Mat Latos, who had been working in the rotation for the club until late last week, had accepted his outright assignment to the Bisons.
The middle game of the three-game set from Rogers Centre is scheduled for a 7:07 PM ET start on Tuesday.
The Indians will call upon right-hander Carlos Carrasco (3-2, 2.18 ERA). The 30-year-old has had a tough time with the Jays at some points of his career, but pitched a gem against them last season, allowing just a run on three hits with a pair of walks and 14 strikeouts. The Blue Jays will throw righty Mike Bolsinger (1-1, 1.46 at Buffalo) at the Tribe, looking to claim a series win. The Jays will need to make yet another 25- and 40-man roster move in order to call up the 29-year-old and get him on the active rosters. He was previously designated for assignment and outrighted from the roster on April 6.
Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America