Blue Jays 6, Indians 1
TORONTO (AP)—Cleveland starter Cliff Lee threw his hat and glove into the stands after his latest loss.
A fan sitting 23 rows deep caught Lee’s glove after he allowed six runs— two earned—on eight hits in 4 1-3 innings. It was the third straight start in which he’s been rocked.
“I didn’t even realize I did it until I got to the bench. I’m definitely frustrated,” Lee said. “I pitched in the second inning this game, so it’s definitely better than the last one.”
Lee (10-4) was pounded for six runs and six hits in a career-low two-thirds of an inning in last Monday’s 13-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers. The poor start came five days after he allowed seven runs and nine hits in four innings of a 14-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
“He’s frustrated but he has to recognize that he did throw the ball better,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “A couple of powerful hitters touched him up early, but he was strong after that.”
Wedge and Lee joked that at least he made a fan happy.
Wells left the game after fouling a ball of his left calf in the fifth inning. He was listed as day-to-day with a bruise.
“Hopefully, it will feel better in the morning and I’ll be in the lineup tomorrow night,” Wells said.
Toronto’s Chris Gomez reached on second baseman Ronnie Belliard’s fielding error, and Alex Rios singled before Wells hit a three-run homer off Lee in the first. Josh Phelps followed with his 12th home run, the first time this year Toronto has hit consecutive homers.
Lilly (8-7) won for the first time since June 28, a span of six starts. The left-hander allowed one run and three hits in seven innings.
“There’s no doubt it makes it easier when you get an early lead like we did,” Lilly said.
After Alex Rios singled in the inning, Carlos Delgado chased Lee with a hard grounder that bounced off the head of first baseman Lou Merloni on what was ruled an RBI double. Merloni briefly stayed down on the artificial turf after being hit, but he got up and stayed in the game.
“I didn’t even see it. I just heard it hit me,” said Merloni, who had a headache.
Lee said that’s a double-play ball normally.
“It popped up on him. I don’t know, the breaks seemed to go their way,” Lee said.
Lee then threw his glove as he walked toward the dugout.
The Indians scored in the fourth on Belliard’s double and a sacrifice fly by Victor Martinez.
Wells missed 24 games earlier this season with a strained right calf. … The Indians have been outscored 33-4 in Lee’s last three starts. … Chad Durbin has replaced Kaz Tadano in the Indians starting rotation. Tadano started four games. Durbin will start on Thursday.