Lee was pounded for six runs and six hits in a career-low 2-3 of an inning in last Monday’s 13-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers. The left-hander allowed the Tigers to hit for the cycle before he was pulled.
“They hit everything I threw today,” Lee said. “I didn’t have the same command I’ve had before.”
The humiliating start came just five days after Lee allowed seven runs and nine hits in four innings of a 14-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox. He has compiled a 25.05 ERA in the two starts, while the Indians have been outscored 27-4.
“He’s been a little out of sync,” manager Eric Wedge said. “He’s pitched great all year for us, but he just didn’t have his best stuff the last couple games. He hasn’t had the same live fastball. It’s hard to work your secondary stuff off that.”
Wedge stressed that Lee’s troubles weren’t the result of an injury and gave him a couple extra days of rest.
“Everybody’s making a big deal,” Wedge said. “But Cliff’ll be all right.”
The Indians are hoping for a strong start from Lee after Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals. C.C. Sabathia allowed a season-high seven runs and nine hits in just five innings as Cleveland lost its second straight and third in 10 games.
The Blue Jays lost 5-3 to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, dropping their second straight and fourth in six games.
Alexis Rios hit his first major league home run and had three RBIs for Toronto. He has hit in 20 of his last 23 games.
“He just keeps improving and improving,” manager Carlos Tosca said.