Both teams were dealing with depleted pitching staffs after Friday's 19-inning colossus, which in part explains why the Jays were able to prevail despite their bullpen giving up three runs in four innings of work. Also playing a role was a controversial replay overturn.
With the score tied 6-6 with one out in the eighth, the Jays' Ezequiel Carrera attempted to score on a Josh Donaldson single up the middle. He was called out by plate ump D.J. Reyburn, but then the replay system took over:
That's an aggressive overturn right there. I can't tell with absolute certainty whether he was out or not, but I don't see that the "clear and convincing" standard for an overturn was met.
Explanation from replay center in NY: Carrera touched plate before CG applied tag. Francona said they must have different angles than him.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 2, 2016
In any event, the Jays added two more in the frame, and that 9-6 score held up.
During that recently snuffed out win streak, the Indians as a team pitched to a remarkable ERA of 1.58. On Saturday, they were obviously much less successful at keeping runs off the board, which in part goes back to that worn-out pitching staff. In fact, Cleveland's Zach McCallister made his first start of the season, although he was pulled after allowing three runs in only a single inning of work. Saturday's scheduled starter, Trevor Bauer, was forced to work five innings of relief on Friday, so he was unavailable.
Anyhow, the (somewhat cold) comfort for the Tribe is that outfielder Rajai Davis notched the first cycle of his career:
That marked the eighth cycle in Indians history. It was also a "reverse" cycle, as Davis homered in the first, tripled in the third, doubled in the seventh, and notched that single above in the ninth.
The 35-year-old outfielder came into Saturday's tilt batting a solid enough .264/.326/.423 on the year. After his cyclic efforts, though, he's now hitting .275/.335/.454. Needless to say, Davis has been a useful piece in light of Michael Brantley's injury concerns and Marlon Byrd's PED suspension.
So thanks to the Jays' efforts, the Indians will not be threatening the Athletics' record win streak of 20 set back in 2002. Thoughts, A's?