Mitch Talbot bounced back in a big way tonight, the Indians’ bats came through with big hits when they were needed, and the Tribe evened the series with the Blue Jays with a 6-3 win over Toronto tonight at the Rogers Centre.
Talbot was a completely different pitcher than he was in his first start back from the DL, going 6.2 innings and allowing only one runon six hits with three walks and three K’s. Talbot improves to 2-1 and his ERA lowers to 4.50, as he stops the Blue Jays’ winning streak at four games.
Joe Smith came on in the seventh, when Toronto scored twice, and was touched for a run, although that run was unearned after an error on Orlando Cabrera. Vinnie Pestano came on in the eighth and struck out the side, while Tony Sipp was touched for a homer in the ninth off the bat of Yunel Escobar. After a long fly ball for the second out, Chris Perez came on and gave up a hit to Jose Bautista but closed things out in a non-save situation.
Brandon Morrow struck out nine in only five innings, but takes the loss after giving up all six Indians’ runs on nine hits. Morrow (2-3, 5.11 ERA) walked two.
Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the second on consecutive lead-off doubles from Carlos Santana and Grady Sizemore, and added two more in the third when Michael Brantley tripled leading off and scored on an Asdrubal Cabrera base hit. Shin-Soo Choo singled Cabrera to second and both runners moved up on a wild pitch before Santana hit a sac fly, making it 3-0.
The Indians scored their final three runs in the fifth, all with two outs. First Travis Buck walked, and Santana drove Buck in with a double to right, with Santana taking third on the throw to the plate, which was dropped by the catcher when it looked as if Buck would easily be retired. It was Santana’s second RBI of the night. Sizemore then followed with his second RBI with a double, and Orlando Cabrera made it 6-0 with an RBI single.
That was all of the scoring for the Tribe, but it was more than enough on this night.
Although the Indians did not homer, and did fan 12 times, they were able to muster a triple and six doubles in a refreshing breakout for the offense.
Detroit came from behind to beat the Minnesota Twins tonight, 8-7, so the Indians' lead over the Tigers remains at five games.
Cleveland will try to win the rubber game of this three-game set on Wednesday at 7:07 when Josh Tomlin (6-2, 2.74 ERA) faces Toronto’s Kyle Drabek (3-3, 4.16 ERA).