Rookie David Huff won for the first time in three starts, Shin-Soo Choo tripled home two runs and the Cleveland Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Thursday afternoon.
The left-handed Huff (5-4) allowed four runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.
Huff left after Kevin Millar cut Cleveland’s lead to one with a two-out homer in the eighth. Righty Joe Smith came on and got Vernon Wells to ground out.
Kerry Wood pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 17 chances as the Indians won a series for the first time since taking two of three from Oakland July 3-5.
Wood began the inning by hitting Alex Rios in the helmet with a curveball. Rios stayed in the game and stole second and third but was left stranded when pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay struck out looking to end it.
Toronto allowed three unearned runs and failed to get back to .500 for the first time since July 10 and has lost six of its past seven series.
Ben Francisco drove in Cleveland’s first run with a bases-loaded walk in the fourth, but Toronto tied it 1-all in the bottom half with back-to-back doubles from Adam Lind and Millar.
The Indians chased Toronto rookie left-hander Marc Rzepczynski with a three-run fifth. Chris Gimenez singled and, one out later, went to third when third baseman Jose Bautista couldn’t come up with Asdrubal Cabrera‘s grounder, putting Cabrera at second. Choo tripled home both runners and Victor Martinez capped it with an RBI grounder off reliever Shawn Camp.
Toronto answered in the bottom half, making it 4-3 on a two-run homer by Aaron Hill, who leads Toronto with 22 and went deep the day before.
Cleveland made it 5-3 with another unearned run in the sixth. With men at first and second, Camp sent a pick-off throw into center field, advancing both runners one base before Gimenez followed with an RBI grounder.
Rzepczynski (1-2) worked 4 1-3 innings, the shortest of his four major league starts, allowing four runs, two earned, on three hits. He walked four and struck out six.
Five of Toronto’s eight hits were doubles, raising their major league-leading total to 217.
Blue Jays RHP Dustin McGowan (shoulder) injured his right knee doing conditioning drills earlier this month and underwent surgery July 9 to repair damaged cartilage. He will need six weeks of recovery time, likely ending his hopes of returning this season. … Lind’s fourth-inning double extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games. … Gimenez made his first start of the season at catcher. The rookie has also played first base, right and left. … Two Cleveland batters, Choo and Ryan Garko, were hit by pitches. The Indians lead the major leagues with 55 hit batters.