The Toronto Blue Jays, big-league leaders in home runs with 185, found a new source of power in a walk-off win over the Indians that maintained their lead over the Yankees in the American League East.
Thanks to a Ryan Goins 10th-inning home run Tuesday night, the Blue Jays defeated the Indians 5-3 and are in position to win another series when they send R.A. Dickey to the mound Wednesday (7:07 p.m. ET) against Cleveland's Trevor Bauer.
Should Toronto win the rubber match in the three-game set, it would make the surging Jays 8-1-1 in their last 10 series. They've swept five of those, including four games against the Minnesota Twins, and lost only to the Yankees (two games to one from August 14-16) while splitting a two-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies in their run to the top of the AL East.
First walk-off ever
For the Blue Jays' sixth walk-off win of the year, who would you expect to provide the long-ball? Josh Donaldson, with 36 home runs? Jose Bautista (31)? Maybe red-hot Edwin Encarnacion (30)? Instead it was the light-hitting, slick-fielding Goins who connected for the game-winner, his fifth home run of the season.
Goins said it was his first walk-off homer ever; that he never even had one in Little League.
After limping to a .188 batting average last year, Goins belted his extra-innings homer to improve to 15-for-34 (.441) with nine runs scored during a career-best 11-game hitting streak.
Speaking of hitting streaks, Encarnacion saw his career-high 26-game stretch come to a halt, but Donaldson is 8-for-20 with seven RBIs in his five-game run.
While Toronto has won 25 of its last 31 to remain 1½ games ahead of the second-place New York Yankees, Cleveland saw its six-game winning streak come to a halt and sits five games out in the race for the second wild card.
Former Blue Jay Yan Gomes went deep twice on Tuesday and is 4-for-11 with three homers, seven RBIs and four runs scored in his last three outings. Gomes hasn't been as fortunate against Wednesday starter Dickey, going 1-for-5 in his career with three strikeouts.
Indians RH Trevor Bauer (10-10, 4.31) vs. Blue Jays RH R.A. Dickey (9-10, 4.25)
After issuing a staggering six walks against the Yankees on Aug. 23, Bauer cut the number in half five days later and allowed one run on five hits in eight innings to record a victory over the Los Angeles Angels. The third overall pick of the 2011 draft, Bauer would love to duplicate the more recent effort when he faces the Blue Jays for the second time this season. The 24-year-old Bauer was blitzed for six runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings before escaping with a no-decision on May 3.
Dickey won his second straight start and improved to 6-0 in his last eight outings after pitching 6 2/3 strong innings in a 5-3 triumph over Detroit on Friday. The 40-year-old knuckleballer surrendered two homers and has been taken deep five times in the last five starts, although he kept the ball in the park in his last meeting with Cleveland. Dickey picked up the win despite yielding four runs on as many hits in six innings.
- Cleveland LF Michael Brantley homered among his two hits on Tuesday and is 14-for-35 with 10 runs scored in his last nine games.
- Toronto 1B Justin Smoak is 0-for-7 in his last three contests after recording back-to-back multi-hit performances in his previous two games.
- Indians 3B Giovanny Urshela is 2-for-16 (.125) in his last five contests.