Indians out-slug Blue Jays 9-8
TORONTO — Roberto Perez homered and drove in four, Michael Brantley hit a two-run shot and the Cleveland Indians outslugged the Toronto Blue Jays 9-8 on Saturday.
Brantley returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games because of a sore left foot and went 2 for 4 with two walks as Cleveland inched closer to clinching a playoff berth. The Indians began the day with a magic number of seven to lock up their third straight AL Central title.
Josh Tomlin (1-5) got two outs for the win and Cody Allen, Cleveland’s seventh pitcher of the game, pitched around a one-out double in the ninth to earn his 26th save.
All of Perez’s RBI came in Cleveland’s seven-run fifth inning. Perez led off with a solo homer, his second, and Brantley hit a one-out shot, his 15th. Blue Jays pitchers issued five walks in the inning, including four straight at one stretch, the last of which was a bases-loaded walk to Jason Kipnis. Perez followed with a three-run double.
Randal Grichuk homered twice for the Blue Jays, his fourth career multihomer game, and Rowdy Tellez hit his first career homer. The Blue Jays lost despite outhitting the Indians 18-11.
Blue Jays right-hander Sean Reid-Foley (1-3) made his fourth career start and allowed six runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked a season-high five and struck out three.
Justin Shafer relieved Reid-Foley and threw 10 consecutive balls. Perez’s bases-clearing double came on Shafer’s 12th pitch.
Grichuk connected off Adam Plutko in the third, and he and Tellez chased Plutko by going back-to-back in the fifth. Grichuk’s homers were his 20th and 21st.
The home run was Tellez’s seventh extra-base hit, the most by any player over his first four games since 1913.
Plutko matched his career worst by allowing five runs and gave up a career-high nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Aledmys Diaz had four hits for Toronto, including three doubles.
Indians: Josh Donaldson (left calf) made his second straight start at third base for Double-A Akron and went 1 for 3 in five innings. Donaldson will work out with the Indians in Tampa Bay on Monday and could be activated off the disabled list Tuesday.
Indians RHP Mike Clevinger (10-7, 3.17) faces Blue Jays LHP Thomas Pannone (1-1, 4.58) in Sunday’s series finale. Clevinger has won four straight decisions and is unbeaten since July 28 at Detroit. Pannone, a former Indians minor leaguer, will make his third major league start in place of injured RHP Marcus Stroman (blister).