Blue Jays-Indians Preview
Over the last eight years, the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t come
out on top very often in Cleveland. But giving the ball to Brandon
Morrow could help the Blue Jays pick up a second straight victory
at Progressive Field.
Morrow tries to win his third consecutive start and add to his
undefeated road record Saturday night when the Blue Jays and
Indians continue their four-game series.
After giving up five ninth-inning runs Thursday in what manager
John Farrell called a “gut-wrenching” 5-4 loss, Toronto (43-47)
pounded out 16 hits – the club’s second-most this season – in
Friday’s 11-7 victory.
Travis Snider hit a two-run homer and drove in a career
high-tying five runs while Rajai Davis knocked in a season
high-tying four to help the Blue Jays snap a three-game losing
streak and an 0-3 stretch versus Cleveland.
Toronto had dropped five in a row and 21 of 28 on the road
against the Indians.
“The thing we’ve seen time and time again this season, is when
we’ve had some adversity the day before we’ve put it behind us,”
said Farrell, whose club had lost eight of 11 overall. “We continue
to battle and compete.”
The Blue Jays continue their seven-game trip with Morrow (5-4,
4.73 ERA) looking for another strong performance outside Toronto.
The right-hander, 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA in his last four starts,
improved to 4-0 on the road Monday after throwing five-plus innings
of four-run ball in a 9-7 win over Boston.
Morrow has a 2.79 ERA in seven road starts compared to a 6.87
ERA in seven outings at home, where he is 1-4.
In a 6-3 loss to visiting Cleveland on May 31, Morrow struck out
nine but gave up six runs in five innings. He is 0-2 with a 6.61
ERA in three starts against the Indians.
Cleveland (47-40), one-half game ahead of second-place Detroit,
looks to bounce back with Josh Tomlin (10-4, 3.78) trying to win
his fourth consecutive decision.
In Monday’s 6-3 victory over the New York Yankees, the
right-hander went seven innings – giving up two runs and three hits
– to become the first player since 1919 to pitch at least five
innings in each of first 29 appearances.
“Tomlin knows how to pitch,” Yankees captain Derek Jeter said.
“He didn’t throw a ball over the plate all day to me.”
Tomlin, though, leads the majors with the fewest walks per nine
innings (1.07) and is among the best with 4.85 strikeouts per walk.
He fanned a season-high seven with one walk in a 13-9 win at
Toronto on June 1 when he allowed a season-high six runs.
Blue Jays All-Star Jose Bautista, 0 for 4 against Tomlin, is one
homer shy of setting the club record for homers before the All-Star
break with 30.
Bautista is batting .368 (7 for 19) with one home run and five
RBIs off Indians pitching this season.
Davis is 9 for 20 (.450) against Cleveland in 2011, with 11 of
his 23 RBIs coming in five games these clubs have met. He is 2 for
3 with a triple and a homer off Tomlin.
Indians center fielder Michael Brantley matched a career high
with four hits Friday to improve to 12 for 24 against Toronto this
season. Brantley is 2 for 3 with a double and a triple against