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Toronto at Cleveland

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Toronto (5-1) «1210000105111
Cleveland (0-5)000010003480

Lee loses second straight start as Jays edge Indians

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians are on the verge of matching a 95-year-old record. It's not a mark they ever imagined approaching.

Cliff Lee couldn't stop his team's season-opening slide Saturday as Roy Halladay outpitched the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner and the Toronto Blue Jays withstood a ninth-inning rally to beat Cleveland 5-4, dropping the Indians to 0-5 for the first time since 1985.

The Indians haven't lost their first six games since 1914, when they were known as the Cleveland Naps.

"This is not where we wanted to be or where we expected to be," said Lee, who didn't lose his second decision until July 6 last season and finished 22-3. "But there's nothing we can do about it now. It's done. Our job is to come in here and keep them from sweeping us."

Halladay (2-0), a 20-game winner last season who finished second to Lee in Cy Young balloting, held Cleveland to one run and five hits in seven innings. The right-hander struck out seven, including two in a sticky second, and was rarely in real trouble.

"That's Doc," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "You kind of expect that out of him."

Desperate for a clutch hit, the Indians, who opened the season by being swept in Texas, finally got one in the ninth on Mark DeRosa's two-out, three-run double off closer B.J. Ryan to make it 5-4. But with the potential tying run at second, Jason Frasor struck out Victor Martinez for his first save.

"Victor is the guy we wanted up there," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We showed some fight."

Lee (0-2), who shrugged off a shaky spring training in Arizona as nothing to worry about, failed to get past the fifth inning for the second time. He was better than on opening day, when the Rangers pasted him for seven runs in five innings. Still, he gave up four runs and seven hits with four walks, and now has a 9.90 ERA.

"It's not the results I want," Lee said.

Aaron Hill had two RBI for Toronto, which improved to 5-1 -- its best start since 2001.

The Blue Jays are showing signs that they might be able to hang with the big boys in the brutal AL East. With nice balance throughout the lineup, and with Halladay as a legitimate No. 1 starter, Toronto could challenge Tampa Bay, Boston and the New York Yankees in baseball's toughest division.

"We're all thrilled," Halladay said. "We've scored a lot of runs and our pitching has been pretty good. It's a matter of keeping all of that going."

Through five games, Indians starters have yet to reach the sixth inning and their relievers have been mostly ineffective. Cleveland's hitters are not coming through in the clutch -- the Indians are just 5-for-39 with runners in scoring position -- and the fielding has been sloppy.

Still, the Indians remain optimistic.

"We're going to win plenty of ballgames this year. No one is going to panic," first baseman Ryan Garko said. "We've got to battle through this and keep our heads up. There's a lot of character in this room. We have to fight through the perception that it's a big deal, because it's really not. We're going to be fine."

The Indians put runners at second and third with none out in the second, but Halladay struck out Garko and Kelly Shoppach and got Ben Francisco on a routine fly to center.

It was a missed opportunity, one the Indians can't afford.

"You have to put the ball in play there," Wedge said. "Our guys know that."

Lee was in an immediate 1-0 hole that could have been deeper.

Marco Scutaro walked leading off the first, Hill blooped a single and the runners moved up on Lee's wild pitch, a ball that could have been blocked by Shoppach. Alex Rios followed with a sinking liner to center that Grady Sizemore snared with a sliding catch, but Scutaro tagged and scored.

Lee got Vernon Wells on a foul popup and gloved an easy comebacker by Adam Lind to avoid any more trouble.

But the lefty was right back in scramble mode in the second, and this time he couldn't escape.

Toronto loaded the bases on a double, single and two-out walk. Hill then grounded a two-run single to right, with Kevin Millar sliding in safely from second when Shoppach couldn't hold Shin-Soo Choo's strong throw to the plate.

The Blue Jays made it 4-0 in the third on Lind's RBI single.

Cleveland finally scored in the fifth on Sizemore's run-scoring double.

Notes

  • Toronto was 1-6 against Cleveland last season.
  • The Indians placed LHP Scott Lewis on the 15-day disabled list with a sore elbow. Lewis, who started and pitched 4 1/3 innings in Friday's home opener, had Tommy John surgery in 2003. Wedge said MRI results were negative.
  • RHP Vinnie Chulk was brought up from Triple-A Columbus and replaced Lee in the sixth. He allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings.
  • The 42 runs allowed by the Indians in their first four games were the fourth-most in that span since 1900, and the most since Baltimore gave up 44 in 1978.
  • Indians DH Travis Hafner got the day off after hitting a homer in his previous two games.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Roy Halladay improves to 2-0 by allowing one run in seven innings and outdueling Cliff Lee.  (AP)
Roy Halladay improves to 2-0 by allowing one run in seven innings and outdueling Cliff Lee. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

R. Halladay
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 2
K 7
Cleveland

M. DeRosa
AB 5
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
 

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Toronto Blue Jays
Marco Scutaro, SS1111300 .435
Aaron Hill, 2B4022113 .308
Alex Rios, RF3001114 .227
Vernon Wells, CF5110006 .292
Adam Lind, DH5021011 .462
Scott Rolen, 3B4110101 .421
Kevin Millar, 1B4120022 .500
    John McDonald, PR0100000 .000
    Lyle Overbay, 1B0000100 .200
Rod Barajas, C4000005 .071
Jose Bautista, LF4020012 .364
Totals34511576  
Batting
2B - Vernon Wells (3, Lee), Scott Rolen (2, Lee)
SF - Marco Scutaro (1), Alex Rios (1)
SH - Rod Barajas (1)
RBI - Marco Scutaro (5), Aaron Hill 2 (8), Alex Rios (5), Adam Lind (12)
2-OUT RBI - Aaron Hill 2 (5)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Rolen-Hill-Millar, Scutaro-Hill-Overbay
E - Scott Rolen (1, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
Roy Halladay (W,2-0) 7511270 3.86
Scott Downs 1100010 0.00
B.J. Ryan 0.2233300 21.60
Jason Frasor (S,1) 0.1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Halladay 111-71, Scott Downs 18-10, B.J. Ryan 32-15, Jason Frasor 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Halladay 12-2, Scott Downs 1-1, B.J. Ryan 1-0
Batters Faced - Roy Halladay 28, Scott Downs 4, B.J. Ryan 6, Jason Frasor 1
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4111120 .227
Mark DeRosa, 3B5013022 .091
Victor Martinez, 1B4000112 .318
Shin-Soo Choo, RF4020002 .286
Jhonny Peralta, SS4020011 .263
Ryan Garko, DH3010113 .429
Kelly Shoppach, C4000024 .182
Ben Francisco, LF4110002 .167
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B2200200 .133
Totals3448459  
Batting
2B - Grady Sizemore (2, Halladay), Mark DeRosa (1, Ryan), Jhonny Peralta (1, Halladay)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (5), Mark DeRosa 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Mark DeRosa 3 (3)
SB - Grady Sizemore (1, 3rd base off Halladay/Barajas), Asdrubal Cabrera (2, 2nd base off Halladay/Barajas)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - DeRosa-A. Cabrera-Martinez
Cleveland Indians
Cliff Lee (L,0-2) 5744450 9.90
Vinnie Chulk 2.1411000 3.86
Joe Smith 1.2000310 3.00
WP - Cliff Lee (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 102-57, Vinnie Chulk 29-17, Joe Smith 31-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 3-7, Vinnie Chulk 3-3, Joe Smith 2-2
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 26, Vinnie Chulk 10, Joe Smith 8
Game Information
Attendance - 20895
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 42
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - James Hoye