On Sunday the Indians gave up three late runs but hung on to win by one, but tonight the cleat was on the other foot, as they scored three in the seventh to get within one run but couldn't push the tying run across.
The pitching matchup tonight was a replay of last year's Opening Day, with Justin Masterson opposing R.A. Dickey. After a disappointing 2013 campaign, the 2012 NL Cy Young winner has started this season with a lot less attention than the previous one, but of late he's started to pitch better. And through six innings, it looked like he might easily finish the game. The Indians struck first with a run in the third (after the first two batters of the inning were retired), but after that Dickey dominated the Indians, allowing just one hit from the fourth to the sixth.
Masterson was dominant in the first three innings, retiring the first nine batters he faced. And he did it with ease, finishing the first three innings having thrown fewer than 30 pitches. But then, the second time through the lineup, the Jays started to hit him, especially the left-handed hitters. Switch-hitter Jose Reyes led off the fourth with a triple, and tied the game when he scored a sacrifice fly. The next inning left-handed hitter Juan Francisco gave Toronto the lead with a bomb to the upper deck beyond the right field wall. And in the sixth, the left-handed hitter Adam Lind doubled into the left field gap, driving home two more. And Juan Francisco followed that up with a run-scoring double of his own. Masterson couldn't finish the sixth, leaving the game with the Indians down 5-1. Josh Outman would prevent the Jays from adding to their 5-1 lead, and that almost became a key play in the game.
But the Indians weren't out of it yet, thanks to some shoddy defense. After Asdrubal Cabrera singled to begin the top of the seventh, David Murphy hit what looked to be an easy double play ball to the second baseman, but the ball glanced off Brett Lawrie's glove and into shallow right field. After Yan Gomes walked, Dickey hit Lonnie Chisenhall on the leg on the very next pitch to cut the lead to 5-2. That was it for Dickey, and in came Aaron Loup with the bases loaded and still nobody out. Loup got Mike Aviles to hit a shallow fly ball that couldn't score the runner from third, and it appeared that the Indians had blown their big opportunity. But Michael Bourn got a huge single off the southpaw Loup, and Nick Swisher drove home another run on a sacrifice fly. Then Michael Brantley, who sitting on an 11-game hitting streak stepped to the plate with runner in scoring position. Brantley hit a line drive back up the middle, but the ball was right at Jose Reyes, to caught the ball to end the seventh.
The Indians threatened in the eighth as well, thanks to a Carlos Santana single and a passed ball by Toronto catcher Josh Thole (who of course was flawless while catching Dickey's knuckleballs). Brett Cecil struck out both Asdrubal Cabrera and David Murphy, but Yan Gomes lined a single into left field. Santana tried to score from second, but left fielder Melky Cabrera made a perfect throw to the plate and Santana was tagged out, preserving a 5-4 Toronto lead.
The Indians kept it a one-run game thanks to Scrabble and CC Lee, but the Indians could manage only a Michael Bourn single in the ninth off closer Casey Janssen.
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