Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Blue Jays- 4 Cleveland Indians- 6
Morrow had his splitter working early today. Nick Swisher could only flail at it in the 1st inning. The second inning saw Morrow give up a solo shot to Michael Brantley. It was not a surprise to see Brantley launch one over the RF wall. He had been getting a steady diet of fastballs from Morrow rather than seeing the splitter that had been fooling hitters throughout the game. In the bottom of the 4th, Brantley struck again. He stroked a double to RF. Kipnis scored all the way from first. The Jays tried a relay to get him at home, but it was too late. Brantley went to third on the play.
Morrow struggled with his command today. His pitch count climbed quickly. He threw 40 pitches by the end of the 2nd. In the fourth inning alone, he threw 35 to bring his total to 84. His final line: 5 innings, 3 hits, 2ER, 2BB, 6K. It wasn’t a bad day for Morrow, just a tough one. The Indians made him work.
The idea of putting together a mostly left handed lineup didn’t exactly result in an offensive thumping. After a leadoff double in the 4th by Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera fired a rocket off the SS diving glove. Then Bautista goes to opposite field to pick up the Jays’ first run of the game. After an Edwin Encarnacion strike out, Juan Francisco came through with a hit up the middle. Melky scored, Bautista hustled to third and Francisco made it all the way to second. Brett Lawrie followed with an RBI groundout to bring the score to 3-1.
In the 5th, Josh Thole led off with a single the other way. Ryan Goins bunted him to 2nd and Jose Reyes drove him in with a single. Carrasco then walked Melky Cabrera, who stole 2nd, and Jose Bautista. Encarnacion stepped into the box with one thing on his mind. Chicken wing time! Except, he is trying too hard lately. He struck out swinging at really bad pitches to end the inning and let Carrasco off the ropes.
Carlos Carrasco‘s day could have been much worse. Yet, once again, he failed to make it out of the 6th inning. In fairness, it is not like he was hit around the ballpark. The Blue Jays did a good job manufacturing runs against him. His final line: His 5 2/3 inning, 6 hits, 4ER, 3BB, 5K
After talking over for Morrow, Aaron Loup (who I still believe will be an All Star this year) promptly walked the bases loaded. He then gave up a double to David Murphy that hit the wall oddly and bounced back toward the infield, away from Melky Cabrera. that cleared the bases, and the Blue Jays lead, making it 5-4 Indians.
The Indians scored again in the 7th. Wagner issued a leadoff walk (the Jays’ 7th of the day) to Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Bourn ripped a single up the middle to move him to third. Nick Swisher drove him in with a sac fly to make it 6-4.
John Axford came in to lock down his 6th save of the season and avoid the sweep. With a two run lead, Axford gave up a hit to Dioner Navarro (hitting for Goins), Melky Cabrera and a walk to Jose Bautista to load the bases with 2 outs. Enter Edwin Encarncaion. Enter the drama. Axford went to 3-0 on EE. With a 3-2 count, Encarnacion grounded out to the SS.
–J.A. Happ made an appearance in the 8th inning. The 8th. Happ. And it worked. He had a quick 3 up, 3 down inning throwing strikes!