At the beginning of the night, many thought that Mitch Talbot may be pitching for his spot in the rotation. By the middle of the 6th inning, most would agree that he did not hold on to that spot. Whether it’s bad luck or bad pitching, Talbot showed tonight that something just isn’t right and he may need some time in Triple A to get things back on track, especially with the arms that the Indians have warm and ready to show their worth down in Columbus.
The Blue Jays jumped on Talbot in the second inning, picking up three runs, two of which came with two outs. Toronto was successful in that line on the stat sheet a couple times, as they also had two two-out, run scoring hits in the top of the 4th inning. After the Indians had picked up two runs in the bottom of the second, the Blue Jays were sparked by the number nine hitter, Rajai Davis in the 4th.
By the time the Indians bats came to life, the damage had already been done by the Blue Jays. They came through with two outs early on in the game while the Tribe just couldn’t get it done. They stranded runners all night and could not get runners in when they needed to.
Talbot’s inability to get out of innings when he should is what has been his downfall over his past few starts. That, and holding on to a lead. While the Indians never led on Friday, Talbot was still not in command of his pitches. Talbot gave up his tenth homer of the season in just 58+ innings of work, a two-run shot to centerfield by Travis Snider.
Jack Hannahan and Michael Brantley provided the RBI for the Indians in the 2nd, when the first three Indians reached base. After a sacrifice by Lou Marson that moved Kearns to third and Hannahan to second, Michael Brantley came through with a 2-out hit to score the second run of the game for the Tribe.
In addition to Rajai Davis, the Jays got multi-hit games from Yunel Escobar, Eric Thames, Travis Snider and Edwin Encarnacion while Davis and Snider accounted for three and five RBI respectively.
The Indians tried to comeback and made a good run at it but it was just too little, too late. The normally strong bullpen couldn’t keep things close to really give the Tribe hitters a good chance in the bottom of the ninth as Toronto held on for a 11-7 win.
With the Tigers victory in Kansas City, the Indians are now just a half game up in the Central Division with two games left until the unofficial half way point of the season. The Indians will need to get back on track this weekend if they want to hold on to the top spot heading into the All-Star Break. With Derek Jeter deciding to skip the festivities in Arizona, Asdrubal Cabrera will get the start at Shortstop for the American League. Many would argue that’s the way it should have been all along.