(Sports Network) – The Cleveland Indians try to continue the momentum tonight following an amazing win in the opener, as they resume their four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Progressive Field.
Cleveland trailed by four runs heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, but Travis Hafner’s game-winning grand slam capped a five-run comeback, propelling the Indians to a 5-4 win.
“Throughout the game, we did struggle,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “We left a lot of guys on base, but we’re still leading the league in batting average with runners in scoring position, so I’m not going to complain about it. We got the big one when it counted.”
Toronto reliever Luis Perez (1-2) came into the game with the bases loaded but served up Hafner’s towering shot to blow his second save and hand the Blue Jays a third straight loss.
“It’s awesome. There’s nothing like it,” Hafner said of his blast. “It’s the most fun you can have on the baseball field. It’s great.”
The blast made Tony Sipp (4-1) a winner even after he gave up Jose Bautista’s major league-leading 29th homer run of the season in the ninth. Bautista’s home run tied a club first-half record with George Bell’s 29 homers before the All-Star break.
Cleveland has now won five of its last seven.
Getting the call for the Indians tonight will be right-hander Mitch Talbot, who is 2-5 and has lost his last four decisions. Talbot lost in Cincinnati on Sunday, as he allowed six runs in four innings to raise his earned run average to 5.60 on the year.
One of Talbot’s two wins came against the Blue Jays, who managed just a run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings back on May 31. For his career against the Jays Talbot is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in two starts.
Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Jo-Jo Reyes, who is 3-7 with a 4.85 ERA. Reyes did not get a decision on Sunday against Philadelphia, as he surrendered four runs and eight hits in six innings of his team’s 7-4 win.
Reyes snapped his 29-start winless streak against the Indians back on May 30 in his only other start against the club.
Cleveland took two of three from the Blue Jays earlier in the year and have won nine of its last 11 against them.