Blue Jays' continue skid, losing to Indians

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Blue Jays' continue skid, losing to Indians
The Toronto Blue Jays lost 5-4 on Tuesday night to the Cleveland Indians to continue their slump and send them further and further away from any hope of a play-off spot. The Blue Jays have now lost seven of their last nine games and are sitting at eight games behind the New York Yankees in the American League's Eastern division. In the same division they also sit behind Boston by seven games and the Tampa Bay Devils Rays by five games.
The loss, Toronto's third in a row, was partially caused by errors. In the first innings the Indians put runners on second and third with two outs before Jhonny Peralta hit a grounder to third baseman John McDonald. McDonald threw it low to first baseman Lyle Overbay, who could have caught it to end the innings. Instead, he missed it, and with both runs scored the Jays fell into an early hole.
After the match McDonald said he hadn't meant to throw the ball that low.
"I got a good hop," McDonald said. "I wanted to make a good throw, but I left it short. It didn't go where I wanted it to go."
The Blue Jays showed good resilience though. After the Indians added a run in the second, and another in the fifth, they began clawing back in the sixth and seventh, scoring two runs in each innings to bring the game within a single run. But Indians' closer Kerry Wood came in and shut the door in the ninth, ensuring the Indians won in front of a home crowd.
Another bad start to a road trip
After the game, Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said he was disappointed the Blue Jays were once again unable to start off a road trip on the right foot.
"The last two road trips haven't been good," Gaston said. "This one has started off bad."
The Jays showed they were unable to hit effectively off of starter Fausto Carmona, instead hitting ground ball after ground ball throughout the first five innings. Carmona fielded four grounders that were hit right to him, and used slow sliders and off-speed pitches to frustrate the Jays' bats.
For the Jays it's also a blown opportunity. While the Yankees had been faltering towards the beginning of the month, finally getting within striking distance, the Jays' skid is happening just at the wrong time. Additionally, the Cleveland Indians are the cellar-dwellers of the American League's Central Division, sitting with a 29-47 record. If the Jays want any chance of making a run for the top spot in the AL East, they can't afford unearned run losses against teams like the Indians.
Carmona bounces back
While Carmona had never lost in four previous starts to the Blue Jays, going 2-0 before Tuesday's game, he was coming off of a drubbing against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, when he was chased from the game after four innings, having let in seven runs.
"Fausto threw the ball very well and got a lot of first-pitch strikes," Indians' manager Manny Acta said at the post-game press conference.
Kerry Wood's closing performance was important, given his team had seen their lead shrink to one run by the time he stepped up to the mound. But he was almost perfect, as he retired the Jays after first putting Jose Molina on first after hitting him in the back.
"This is something we can all build off of," Wood said. "The starters are giving us a chance to win and the entire bullpen is doing the job. Everybody is on a roll right now."
The win is the Indians' third in a row since going on a brutal 1-10 slide. The Jays will look to take inspiration from the Indians' own turnaround as they hope to snap their skid.



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