Indians lose slugfest to Blue Jays 10-8
Myers struggles give Tribe their first loss
TORONTO, ON - One day after the long ball helped the Indians rally to a victory, home runs quickly became the team’s worst enemy Thursday night as the Tribe fell to the Blue Jays 10-8.
Cleveland starter Brett Myers tied a career-high yielding four home runs in just over five innings pitched, in what was the right-hander’s first start since Sept. 28, 2011. Myers (0-1, 12.60 ERA) would give up a total of seven runs on seven hits, walking two batters without a strikeout in the ballgame.
Just as the Tribe’s new offseason acquisition struggled in Spring Training, Myers was ineffective from the very first inning. After walking Jose Reyes on four straight pitches to start the game, Myers gave up a two-run homer to Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista. This came after the Indians took the early 1-0 lead on Nick Swisher’s RBI double in the top half of the inning. It was the third straight game Cleveland has scored first this season.
The Indians right hander would also give up long balls to Edwin Encarnacion and two home runs to J.P. Arencibia. A controversial call was made by Tribe manager Terry Francona as he stuck with Myers to start the sixth inning in what was then a tie ballgame. Arencibia would hit his second home run of the game just a few pitches later and Toronto seemingly never looked back.
With relievers Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez already used in two straight games to begin the season, Francona looked like he did not want to overuse his bullpen this early in the season. The pitching woes continued for reliever Cody Allen who relieved Myers only to give up two runs and another home run of his own in the sixth inning. Toronto scored three times in both the fifth and sixth innings.
As the Blue Jays offense got to Myers, Indians hitters were just as effective against Toronto southpaw Mark Buehrle. The Tribe offense battled and clawed their way back to tie the game three times over the course of the night, but could not regain the lead after the first inning. Cleveland hitters broke out for eight runs on 14 hits, where eight of their hits went for extra bases. Drew Stubbs was the only player without at least one hit in the lineup.
The two biggest hits of the night for the Indians came in the bottom of the third, as Buehrle gave up back-to-back homers to Carlos Santana and Mark Reynolds. It was Reynolds' second homer in as many nights and was one of three hits in the ballgame for Santana. The Tribe catcher went 3-for-5, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.
Defensively, the team looked shaky at times with two errors. The most costly error came from Allen failing to catch the ball covering first base which gave the Blue Jays a huge insurance run late. The Indians now have committed three errors through their first three games.
Despite an offensive surge against Buehrle, Cleveland is now just 3-9 in their last 12 games when facing the former Chicago White Sox lefty.
After winning the series against Toronto, the Tribe will now travel to St. Petersburg, Florida to open up a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. Zach McAllister will take the hill in his first start of the year against the Rays young lefty Matt Moore.
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