History closed the door twice on Saturday, but Blue Jay fans rejoice with a 9-6 win, their first in two days. The Indians, taking victory yesterday in a 19-inning battle to extend their winning streak to 14, lose for the first time since June 15, while Marco Estrada has his streak of 12 games allowing five hits or less in six innings pitched snapped. Rajai Davis, the former Blue Jay, hits for the cycle with a single in his final at bat in the ninth.
Following a 19-inning affair yesterday, both teams were undeniably low on pitchers. As Cleveland used Trevor Bauer, their expected starter, to pitch the last five innings in the previous game, Zach McAllister was stenciled as the starter on what was deemed a “bullpen” day. On Toronto’s side, the Blue Jays recalled both Aaron Loup and Drew Hutchison for today’s game, while sending Bo Schultz (2.2 IP yesterday) to triple-A Buffalo and Ryan Goins to the 15-day DL (forearm soreness).
The game opened with scoring, as Davis started his cycle with a home run in the top of the first, before Estrada struck out three in a row to close out the inning. Bouncing back in the bottom half, Edwin Encarnacion slugs a three run home run to centre field, scoring both Ezequiel Carrera and Josh Donaldson. Again in the third, Davis hit a triple, again adding to his cycle effort, and driving in Tyler Naquin, before Carlos Santana hit a solo home run to tie it at 3-3 in the fourth.
After a scoreless fifth inning, the Blue Jays removed starter Marco Estrada from the game, ending his streak of 12 straight games of six innings pitched and five or less hits allowed. As the best such streak in major league history, Estrada beat out Jake Arrieta (10 starts in 2014), Johnny Cueto (10 in 2013-14), and Johan Santana (10 in 2004) to take his title. His streak started in late April, and just goes to show how good of a player he actually is, despite a lack of recognition from baseball fans and the league itself.
Giving Toronto the lead again, in the bottom of the fifth Troy Tulowitzki hit a home run to drive in Russell Martin, making it 5-3. Without giving up hope, the Indians battled back to make it 6-5 with a double from Mike Napoli off of Hutchison in the seventh, coming after a bases-loaded hit by pitch and single. Never again scoring, the Blue Jays charge ahead in the seventh and eighth, with a home run and two doubles. The final score was 9-6 in favour of Toronto.
Edwin Encarnacion, despite only batting once yesterday before his ejection, seemingly made up for his lost time (18 innings, to be exact). In five at-bats today, the Ed-Wing collected a total of three RBIs off of two hits, crossing the plate once himself. He homered in the first and singled in the third, carrying his amazing performance from June.
Coming up tomorrow, the Blue Jays will play the last of a four game series against the Indians, coming as yet another day game (1:07 start time). J.A. Happ, with a 10-3 record and 3.70 ERA so far this year, will get the start for Toronto, while former Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber heads Cleveland’s effort to win the series.
Head over to MLB.com to view a full set of highlights and more in-detail statistics.