Rough fourth inning hands Indians a loss to Toronto
TORONTO (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians have lost to plenty of tough pitchers in recent weeks. On Monday night they fell victim to a guy who hadn't won in nearly three years.
Jo-Jo Reyes won for the first time in 29 starts by throwing his first career complete game and Jayson Nix hit a two-run home run to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to an 11-1 rout of the Indians.
"Whether we've been facing good pitchers or not, we're struggling offensively," Indians manager Manny Acta said.
Losers of five of six, Cleveland is averaging just two runs per game in that span, and has been shut out twice.
"You can't hit .500 the whole year," first baseman Matt LaPorta said. "Some weeks are better than others."
Cleveland's offense has suffered following injuries to Travis Hafner (right oblique) and Grady Sizemore, activated off the DL last week after missing two weeks with a sore right knee.
Shelley Duncan's solo homer was the only offense for the Indians, whose seven other hits were singles.
"We're scuffling this week," Acta said.
The Indians have lost twice to Tampa Bay's David Price this month, and once each to Rays righties Jeremy Hellickson and James Shields, Boston's Josh Beckett and Jon Lester and Oakland's Trevor Cahill.
Reyes (1-4) became the latest hurler to keep Cleveland's bats in check, allowing one run and eight hits to win for the first time in almost three years. His previous victory came with Atlanta against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 13, 2008. The left-hander went 0-13 with a 6.59 ERA in his 28 starts between wins.
"It was just an awesome game," a smiling Reyes said. "I guess this was the way to do it if I had to choose."
Rajai Davis went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and scored three runs as Toronto won its fourth straight, but the end of Reyes' streak was the talk of the clubhouse.
"To do it in this fashion is superb," Davis said. "It's awesome."
The crowd of 12,902 stood and cheered "Jo-Jo, Jo-Jo" as Cleveland's Jack Hannahan batted with two outs in the ninth. Catcher J.P. Arencibia embraced Reyes after Hannahan struck out, and the rest of Toronto's pitchers streamed to the mound in celebration. One fan held up a sign reading "I believe in Jo-Jo."
"The whole pitching staff is happy for him," fellow left-hander Ricky Romero said. "I was one of the first guys (to reach the mound). He was kind of serious when I first went out there. I was like 'Hey man, you can smile now, it's over.' I gave him a big hug."
Reyes avoided becoming the first pitcher to go winless in 29 starts. Oakland's Matt Keough went 28 starts between wins in 1978 and 1979, matching the dubious mark first set by Boston's Cliff Curtis in 1910 and 1911.
"This night belongs to Jo-Jo," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Just an outstanding game on his part."
Reyes almost ended his streak on May 20, pitching seven shutout innings against Houston and leaving with a 2-0 lead, but Hunter Pence's two-run double off reliever Jon Rauch kept Reyes waiting a little longer.
Thanks to an offensive explosion from the Blue Jays, there was little doubt of a bullpen meltdown costing Reyes this one.
Nix got the barrage started with a two-run homer to left in the third, his third, and the Blue Jays pounded Cleveland right-hander Fausto Carmona for seven runs in the fourth, their biggest inning of the season.
Arencibia led off the fourth with a single, Aaron Hill was hit by a pitch and Eric Thames singled to load the bases for Davis, who hit a two-run double to left. Nix struck out and Yunel Escobar walked before Corey Patterson hit a bouncer to second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera, who couldn't come up with the ball as Thames scored. A frustrated Cabrera kept his back turned as Davis streaked around from second.
"I was just a brain cramp," Acta said. "He just flat-out didn't react accordingly."
The Blue Jays still weren't done. Jose Bautista hit a two-run double to right and, after Juan Rivera grounded out, Arencibia capped it with his second hit of the inning, an RBI double to left.
"They really hit (Carmona) around and he couldn't get himself out of that inning," Acta said.
Carmona (3-6) lost his third straight outing and has not won since May 3, a span of five starts. He allowed nine runs, seven earned, and nine hits in four innings, walked two and struck out three.
Duncan hit a towering homer into the fifth deck in the fourth inning, his second. The blast was the 15th homer to reach the highest level seating of Rogers Centre, which opened as SkyDome in 1989.
"That was quite a shot," Acta said. "Duncan's a very strong guy, but it only counts for one run. It doesn't matter how far you hit it."
NOTES: After playing DH in his first three games since returning from his right knee injury, Sizemore got the day off Monday and will return to the outfield Tuesday. Sizemore is 0 for 12 with seven strikeouts since coming off the DL last week. ... Blue Jays 1B Adam Lind (back) went 1 for 4 with a triple and a walk as the DH in an extended spring training game Monday. He is set to DH again Tuesday. ... Rivera went 0 for 4, ending his hitting streak at 11 games.