TORONTO (AP) — The Cleveland Indians brought a quick stop to their slide.
Mitch Talbot won for the first time since April 11, Grady Sizemore drove in a pair of runs and the Indians beat the Blue Jays 6-3 on Tuesday night, snapping Toronto’s four-game winning streak.
“Defensively, we looked alive. Offensively, we looked alive,” Talbot said. “When a guy got on, we moved him over and got him in. That’s what we were doing early in the season. Hopefully we’re getting on track and getting ready to go.”
Cleveland had been outscored 44-12 while losing five of its previous six, but turned that around against a Blue Jays team that beat them 11-1 on Monday.
“We swung the bat a lot better today,” manager Manny Acta said.
Sizemore came in 0 for 12 with seven strikeouts in three games since coming off the DL last week, but ended his slump with a pair of RBI doubles. He finished 2 for 4, raising his average to .255.
“When you’re struggling for four or five games, you want to stop it there,” Sizemore said. “You don’t want it to go for 10 or 15.”
Talbot (2-1), who missed more than three weeks with a sore elbow earlier this season, started for the second time since coming off the disabled list on May 25. Tagged for eight runs in three innings against Boston in his return start, he allowed one run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings in this one.
“The first three innings he was a little shaky with his control, but he made good pitches when he had to,” Acta said. “After that, he got into a better groove and threw more strikes.”
The Indians did all their scoring against Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow, who gave up a season-high six runs in five innings.
“They were hitting some good pitches,” Morrow said. “I don’t know what to say. I thought I had good stuff.”
The nine hits allowed by Morrow (2-3) matched a season high. He walked two and struck out nine, but has not won in three starts.
Joe Smith got one out in the seventh and Vinnie Pestano worked the eighth. Tony Sipp got two outs, but gave up a solo homer to Yunel Escobar in the ninth, and Chris Perez got the final out.
The homer was the sixth of the season for Escobar, who went 2 for 2 with three walks.
The Indians opened the scoring in the second on back-to-back doubles by Carlos Santana and Sizemore, then added two more in the third.
Michael Brantley led off with a triple and scored on a base hit by Asdrubal Cabrera. Shin-soo Choo singled and both runners advanced on Morrow’s wild pitch before Santana hit a two-out sacrifice fly.
Singles by J.P. Arencibia and Aaron Hill gave Toronto runners at first and second with one out in the fourth, but first baseman Matt LaPorta made a diving stop on a hard grounder by Eric Thames for the second out, with both runners moving up.
“He made a heck of a play,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of LaPorta’s diving stop. “That has a chance to possibly be two runs. Their infield defense has been much improved over a year ago and it paid dividends for them tonight.”
Toronto came away empty-handed when Rajai Davis ended the inning by grounding to short.
Cleveland doubled its lead and chased Morrow with a three-run rally in the fifth, with all the damage coming with two outs. Trying to score from first on Santana’s double, Travis Buck appeared to be a sure out at the plate but Arencibia couldn’t hold the relay throw from Hill, the second baseman. Sizemore made Toronto pay for missing the third out by following with an RBI double and Orlando Cabrera capped the inning with an RBI single.
Talbot left after Corey Patterson reached on a fielder’s choice in the seventh and Toronto broke through against Smith. Patterson took second on a wild pitch and scored on an error by Orlando Cabrera, who threw the ball away on Jose Bautista’s infield single, sending Bautista to second. Juan Rivera followed with an RBI single to right.
NOTES: Brantley started at DH after four straight games on artificial turf. The Indians won’t play on turf again this season after leaving Toronto. … Blue Jays 1B Adam Lind (back) made his second straight appearance as a DH in an extended spring training game and could be activated off the DL on Saturday, Farrell said. … Toronto INF Edwin Encarnacion, who fouled two balls off his foot last week, could not play Monday after having the toenail removed from his left big toe. Farrell said Encarnacion was available to pinch hit Tuesday. … Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said 3B prospect Brett Lawrie “has done everything we’ve asked” at Triple-A, hinting that Lawrie could be promoted this week. However, that plan may be on hold after Lawrie left Tuesday’s game when he was hit on the left hand by a pitch.