Toronto (3-1) at Cleveland (0-3)

Fair Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Fri Apr 10, 2009
  • TV: RSN, STO
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Toronto Blue Jays were impressive at the plate in their season-opening series. A trip to Cleveland for a matchup with Scott Lewis, though, may slow them down.

Lewis looks to become the first pitcher to win his first five starts with the Indians in over 88 years Friday in the opener of a three-game set with the Blue Jays.

Toronto got off to a fast start, totaling 24 runs and 39 hits in winning three of four games from Detroit.

Cleveland (0-3), meanwhile, is hoping Lewis (4-0, 2.63 ERA) can give it a spark in the season opener at Progressive Field after being swept by Texas in its first series.

Lewis made his first major league start Sept. 10, earning a win over Baltimore before winning each of his next three outings. The last time a pitcher won his first five starts with the Indians was September 1920, when Duster Mails started 7-0.

The left-hander earned a spot in the rotation despite struggling in spring training, going 1-3 with an 8.22 ERA in three starts and five relief appearances. This will be his first start against the Blue Jays, who have struggled at Cleveland in recent years.

The Indians have won 15 of their last 17 home games versus the Blue Jays, posting a 2.46 ERA while holding them to a .214 batting average during that stretch. Cleveland pitchers had a 1.13 ERA in seven games overall against Toronto last season, winning six.

The Indians weren’t nearly as successful versus the Rangers, allowing 29 runs en route to their first 0-3 start since 1996. That season, Cleveland came back to win 99 games and the AL Central.

Strong production at the plate was a bright spot for the Indians in the series finale, hitting five home runs in a 12-8 loss Thursday.

“We saw some signs offensively,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “Our guys are never going to quit. They’re going to fight all the way through.”

Grady Sizemore had two of the Indians’ round-trippers for his seventh multihomer game. The veteran center fielder’s big game wasn’t enough to help the Indians rally from a 9-1 deficit.

Toronto came back to beat Detroit 6-2 on Thursday after trailing 2-0 entering the fourth inning. Marco Scutaro hit a two-run homer, while Aaron Hill and Adam Lind added solo shots for the Blue Jays.

“I think we’ve had a different guy deliver every night, and that’s really helped pick us up through these three wins,” Blue Jays left fielder Travis Snider said. “Hopefully we can continue to do that.”

Lind went 3-for-4, raising his average to .583. He also has two home runs and seven RBIs.

Lind played left field in 71 of his 88 games last season, but has been the designated hitter for each of the Blue Jays’ first four contests. Toronto has been starting Snider in left, where he’ll likely be backing up starting pitcher Scott Richmond (1-3, 4.00) for this series’ opener.

Richmond missed much of spring training because he was with the Canadian national team for the World Baseball Classic, but five promising late-season starts last year helped give him a spot in the rotation.

The right-hander faced Cleveland on Aug. 10, allowing three runs and nine hits in five innings as Toronto lost 4-0.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Richmond Tex vs. S. Lewis Cle
8-11 Record 0-0
5.52 ERA 8.31
117 K 3
59 BB 1
1.49 WHIP 1.85

Scoreboard

Friday, Apr 10