Guardians beat Blue Jays after Mercado drives in winning run
CLEVELAND — Franmil Reyes lumbered home on Oscar Mercado’s tiebreaking, two-out single in the eighth inning and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Sunday.
Toronto took a 3-2 lead into the eighth, but Owen Miller’s one-out homer off Tim Mayza tied it. Mayza retired Jose Ramirez, but Miller drove a 2-2 pitch to the left field bleachers.
Adam Cimber (4-2) relieved with two outs and allowed Reyes’ single and Andres Gimenez’s walk. Mercado, who was hit on the left hand by a pitch in the third, lined a 2-2 offering to center, and Reyes slid home ahead of the throw that was cut off.
Bryan Shaw (1-0) pitched the eighth, and Emmanuel Clase worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
George Springer’s sacrifice fly broke a 2-all tie in the seventh. Teoscar Hernandez’s bases-loaded single gave Toronto a 2-0 lead after four batters. Cleveland tied it in the third on Ramirez’s RBI triple and Miller’s sacrifice fly.
Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah, who came into the game tied for the major league lead with four wins, gave up two runs and struck out three in five innings.
The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Manoah kept Cleveland’s hitters from digging in at the plate. He drilled Mercado on the left hand with a 92 mph pitch in the third to load the bases. Mercado immediately removed his batting glove and walked toward Cleveland’s dugout. He met with manager Terry Francona and a team trainer before taking first base.
Manoah worked out of the one-out jam by striking out Austin Hedges and retiring Myles Straw on a ground ball.
Manoah hit Josh Naylor on the left foot with a breaking pitch that dived sharply in the dirt during the third. He also threw a pitch to Ramirez in the first that sailed to the backstop.
Cleveland rookie Konnor Pilkington, making his first major league start, allowed two runs and struck out six in 3 2/3 innings. The left-hander was called up from Triple-A Columbus before the game.
Pilkington made three scoreless relief appearances earlier this season. Springer’s towering fly ball to left hit off the 19 1/2 foot wall for a double. Bo Bichette walked before Vladimir Guerrero Jr. slapped a 1-2 pitch through the right side for a single that loaded the bases.
Steven Kwan led off Cleveland’s third with a double and scored on a triple by Ramirez, who beat the relay throw from the outfield with a headfirst slide. Miller’s fly ball tied it.
Guerrero was called safe on a ground ball hit to shortstop Gimenez in the fifth, a play Cleveland challenged. As the scoreboard replays clearly showed the call would be overturned, Guerrero walked from first base to Toronto’s dugout before the out call was announced.
Blue Jays: LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (forearm inflammation) made his first rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday, allowing five runs (two earned) while striking out six in four innings.
Guardians: 1B Yu Chang (COVID-19 recovery) will rejoin the team this week after he completes a minor league rehab assignment.
Blue Jays: Toronto begins a three-game series at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night following Monday’s off-day. LHP Yusei Kikuchi (1-1, 4.35 ERA) will pitch the opener.
Guardians: RHP Zach Plesac (1-3, 4.44 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game series Monday night in Chicago. RHP Michael Kopech (0-0, 1.17 ERA) will pitch for the White Sox.