TORONTO (AP) – Still recovering from an illness that forced him to miss a start last week, Cleveland’s Danny Salazar had only one thing on his mind after beating the Toronto Blue Jays.
“I just want to go home and sleep right now,” a weary Salazar said after shutting down the highest-scoring team in baseball.
Jerry Sands singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, Salazar struck out 10 and the Indians won their sixth straight game, beating the Blue Jays 4-2 on Monday night.
Salazar (12-7) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings. He reached double digits in strikeouts for the fifth time this season and the first time since fanning 10 against Baltimore on June 6.
“He’s got a great arm and he showed it tonight,” Indians DH Ryan Raburn said.
Salazar was scheduled to pitch against the Los Angeles Angels last Friday but was replaced after falling ill and losing six pounds in two days.
Despite pitching on eight days’ rest, Salazar didn’t feel strong.
“I got tired quick,” he said. “In the fourth inning I was dead tired. I had to hold on and try to come back.”
Salazar gave up two runs on three consecutive hits in the fifth but set down six of the final seven batters he faced.
“He didn’t take any hitters off, because you can’t,” manager Terry Francona said. “We were keeping an eye on his endurance because of (the illness). I’m glad we waited a few days or that would have been more of an issue.”
Bryan Shaw got two outs in the eighth and Cody Allen finished for his 28th save.
Raburn doubled home the tying run as the Indians matched their longest winning streak of the season and halted Toronto’s run at four.
“Big win for us to pull that out,” Raburn said.
Toronto’s David Price came in with a 9-1 record and 2.04 ERA in 12 career starts against Cleveland, but lost for the first time in six starts since joining the Blue Jays in late July.
Price (13-5) struck out nine, allowing three runs and six hits in seven innings.
Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion, who was named AL player of the week after batting .391 (9 for 23) with six home runs and 17 RBIs, extended his hitting streak to 26 games with a leadoff single in the sixth. Encarnacion’s streak is the longest in the majors this season, and baseball’s longest since a 28-game run by Colorado’s Nolan Arenado in 2014.
Encarnacion finished 2 for 4. He had two streaks stopped at eight games: having at least one extra base hit and one RBI in each.
Trailing 1-0, Toronto responded with a two-out rally in the fifth. Ryan Goins and Ben Revere singled and both runners scored on Josh Donaldson’s triple. Donaldson leads baseball with 108 RBIs.
The Indians reclaimed the lead in the seventh. Carlos Santana walked and tied it on Raburn’s double off Price, with Raburn taking third on Goins’ relay to the plate.
“That was probably one of the few pitches he left over the middle of the plate,” Raburn said. “He was tough tonight.”
One out later, Sands grounded an RBI single through the left side.
Toronto threatened in the eighth but left the bases loaded. Jose Bautista singled, Encarnacion doubled and Troy Tulowitzki was intentionally walked to bring up Justin Smoak, who struck out on Allen’s 2-2 curveball.
“We made a run at them and couldn’t get that big hit,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Cleveland made it 4-2 in the ninth when Yan Gomes scored on Donaldson’s throwing error.
Hitting with men at first and second in the ninth, Donaldson struck out on a checked swing for the game’s final out.
JAYS HIRE SHAPIRO
The Indians and Blue Jays met on the same day that Toronto announced it will hire longtime Cleveland executive Mark Shapiro as its next team president. Shapiro, who has been with the Indians since 1992, will join the Blue Jays at the end of the season. He’ll replace the retiring Paul Beeston.
QUITE THE PAIR
Encarnacion and Donaldson both had 35 RBIs in August, the first two teammates to do that since Bobby Doerr and Ted Williams with the 1950 Boston Red Sox.
Indians: Francona said RHP Gavin Floyd (elbow) and INF Chris Johnson (left index finger) would be activated off the DL when rosters expand Tuesday. Cleveland also intends to recall RHP Shawn Armstrong from Triple-A Columbus.
Indians: RHP Cody Anderson (2-3, 4.30 ERA) is winless in five starts. He’s the third rookie starter the Blue Jays have faced in their past five games.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (11-8, 3.19 ERA) has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his past 13 starts.
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