Indians win 14th straight, beat Blue Jays 2-1 in 19 innings

Getty Images
15 Comments

TORONTO — A franchise-best 14th straight win sure didn’t come easy for the Cleveland Indians.

Carlos Santana homered in the 19th inning off infielder Darwin Barney and the Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 on Friday.

“I guess if you’re going to set a record, you might as well do it the hard way,” Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer said.

Cleveland won 13 straight in 1942 and again in 1951.

It’s the longest winning streak since Atlanta won 14 straight in 2013, and the longest by an AL team since Oakland won 20 in a row in 2002.

Santana doubled and scored in the third as the surging Indians survived a marathon game and disappointed a sellout crowd that came for a Canada Day matinee that lasted 6 hours and 13 minutes, featured 19 pitchers and saw 34 left on base.

The 19 innings matched the longest game in Blue Jays history. Toronto played 19 against Detroit in August 2014.

Having used seven of their eight relievers, the Indians turned to Bauer, Saturday’s scheduled starter, in the 15th. Bauer (7-2) worked five innings for the win.

“I thought what Trevor did was above and beyond,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Only closer Cody Allen, who was unavailable after working the previous three games, did not pitch for Cleveland.

After seven Blue Jays relievers combined to pitch 10 1-3 scoreless innings, Toronto turned to infielder Ryan Goins in the 18th.

Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall began the inning with singles, but Ramirez was caught in a rundown on Michael Martinez‘s fielder’s choice grounder. After intentionally walking Tyler Naquin, Goins got out of the bases-loaded jam by getting Chris Gimenez to ground into a double play.

Barney, who started the game at second base, replaced Goins in the 19th. The infielders became the ninth and 10th position players to pitch for Toronto.

“That’s a weird game,” Francona said. “Shoot, they’re matching up with infielders.”

Santana greeted Barney (0-1) with a drive to right-center, his 17th.

The Blue Jays loaded the bases with two outs in the 14th but Joba Chamberlain got reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson to ground out.

Donaldson nearly tied it in the 19th but his drive to right was caught on the warning track.

“I thought he hit it out for sure,” Bauer said. “He hit it and I was like `You’ve got to be kidding me.”‘

Toronto’s only run came in the sixth when Justin Smoak snapped an 0-for-18 slump by homering off Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin. It was the eighth of the season for Smoak and the 100th of his career.

The Blue Jays lost major league RBI leader Edwin Encarnacion when he was ejected for arguing after being called out on strikes to end the first inning. Manager John Gibbons was also ejected.

All three Blue Jays batters were called out on strikes in the first, with Encarnacion livid after being rung up on a 3-2 pitch that looked outside.

Encarnacion made contact with home plate umpire Vic Carapazza’s left shoulder after being ejected. Gibbons rushed out to break up the argument and was also tossed.

Catcher Russell Martin was ejected by Carapazza after striking out to end the 13th. A fuming Martin had to be restrained by bench coach DeMarlo Hale and third base coach Luis Rivera as he screamed at Carapazza.

“He just wasn’t very good today,” Martin said of Carapazza. “All the things that everybody in the ballpark were thinking, I didn’t say that. I felt like he really didn’t have to throw me out.”

Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI single off Marcus Stroman in the third.

UNEXPECTED EFFORT

Expected to start Saturday, Bauer he threw what he called a “fairly intense” bullpen and lifted weights Thursday, then lifted again before Friday’s game. “Physically, I’m exhausted,” he said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: OF Jose Bautista (left big toe) is not expected to return before the All-Star break, Gibbons said. Bautista was injured June 16 at Philadelphia.

UP NEXT

Indians: Cleveland’s starter for Saturday is unknown after Bauer was used in relief. “We’re working through that right now,” Francona said afterward. “We’ve got some things we’ve got to talk through.”

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (5-3, 2.81) has allowed at least one home run in each of his past five starts.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
Getty Images
1 Comment

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.