Clevinger wins 3rd straight, Indians beat Blue Jays 7-3
TORONTO— Mike Clevinger pitched seven innings to win his third straight decision, Oscar Mercado homered and tripled, and the surging Cleveland Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 on Monday night to improve to 13-3 in July.
Francisco Lindor drove in a pair of runs and Jason Kipnis had two hits and scored twice for the Indians, who are a major league-best 29-11 since June 4.
Clevinger (4-2) allowed three runs and five hits, matching his longest outing of the season. He walked two and struck out seven. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in four July starts.
Clevinger also worked seven innings on April 1 against the White Sox.
Tyler Clippard finished with two perfect innings. Kipnis ended the game with a spectacular leaping catch at second base on Cavan Biggio’s liner into shallow right field.
Mercado hit an RBI triple off Justin Shafer in the sixth and led off the eighth with a homer against Sam Gaviglio, his eighth.
Making his first start of the season after being sidelined with a sore elbow, Blue Jays left-hander Ryan Borucki (0-1) allowed four runs, two earned, and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out three.
Cleveland opened the scoring in the second after a replay review showed Blue Jays shortstop Freddy Galvis had missed the bag on a force play at second base. Lindor made Toronto pay with a two-run single with two outs.
Justin Smoak answered in the bottom half with a solo home run, his 16th, but the Indians got another two-out RBI in the third when Jose Ramirez doubled and scored on a base hit by Kipnis.
Cleveland’s Roberto Perez hit an RBI double in the fifth but Toronto’s Billy McKinney hit a two-run homer in the bottom half, his sixth, cutting the gap to 4-3.
The Indians wasted no time widening their lead again in the sixth. Mercardo’s RBI triple skipped past a sliding McKinney in right, and Shafer left with a sore right elbow after loading the bases with back-to-back walks. Tim Mayza came on and gave up a sacrifice fly to Ramirez.
Shafer grimaced after throwing his final pitch and left the mound with a trainer following a brief chat with manager Charlie Montoyo.