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Indians, Blue Jays split lengthy doubleheader

By JOE NOGA • May 4, 2018 at 12:48 AM

CLEVELAND — Rookie pitchers more often than not have nightmares about nine-run innings. But for Adam Plutko, the nine his Cleveland Indians scored in the fifth inning of Thursday's doubleheader finale surely seemed more like a dream.

Jose Ramirez delivered a two-run homer and an RBI double while Erik Gonzalez added a bases-loaded three-run double as the Tribe broke a 2-2 tie and went on to defeat the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, 13-4 at Progressive Field.

Ramirez became the first Indians batter with two extra-base hits in the same inning since Shelly Duncan did so Sept. 18, 2011 against Minnesota. Like Ramirez, Duncan's hits included a home run and a double.

Gonzalez cleared the bases with a line drive double into the gap in left center and finished with a career-high four RBI. Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Yonder Alonso and Tyler Naquin added hits in the inning, while Kipnis, Roberto Perez and Bradley Zimmer each drew a walk. Zimmer's bases-loaded walk forced home a run.

According to Elias Sports, the Tribe's nine-run inning, coupled with a seven-run fourth in the first game of the doubleheader, marked the first time a team had scored seven or more runs in a single inning in both games of a doubleheader since the 1975 Oakland A's did so against Kansas City.

It was also the first time since July 25-26 of last season against the Angels that the Indians posted a seven-run inning in consecutive games.

Plutko (1-0, 3.68 ERA) earned his first major league win, allowing three solo home runs among six hits in 7 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old rookie struck out six Blue Jays and did not walk a batter in his first start.

Reliever Evan Marshall made his Indians debut in the eighth inning after Plutko gave up a leadoff home run to Aldemys Diaz before retiring Lourdes Gurriel on a grounder. Marshall began the day at Class AAA Columbus, but was added to the roster between games of the doubleheader after Nick Goody was put on the 10-day disabled list with elbow inflammation.

Marshall logged two-thirds of an inning, striking out one batter.

Lindor and Perez had RBI singles in the third and fourth innings respectively against Toronto starter Joe Biagini (0-1, 8.10). Perez's hit tied the score at 2-2 after a Josh Donaldson home run had given Toronto the lead in the top of the fourth.

Thursday's doubleheader marked the first time since the 2000 season that the Indians have scored at least 10 runs in three consecutive games.

The win gives manager Terry Francona 1,500 for his career. Francona becomes the 24th manager in MLB history to reach that mark.

Cleveland raised its record to 35-15 in doubleheader games in the past eight seasons. The Tribe has split 13 of 25 doubleheaders while sweeping 11 and being swept only once. The Indians are 17-21 overall in 18 doubleheaders against the Blue Jays, including 11-11 at home (2-2 at Progressive Field).

In Game 1, Yangervis Solarte belted a grand slam in the top of the 11th inning and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to defeat the Cleveland Indians, 13-11, in the opening game of a doubleheader Thursday at Progressive Field.

Solarte, who collected five hits and six RBIs, drove a Tyler Olson fastball 376 feet to the bleachers in left field to put Toronto in front. The five hits and six RBIs were both career single-game highs for Solarte.

Cleveland scored twice in the bottom of the 11th on a two-run single by Edwin Encarnacion, but Toronto closer Roberto Osuna retired pinch hitter Yonder Alonso on strikes and got Jason Kipnis to line out to Kevin Pillar in center field to end it.

Francisco Lindor ignited a game-tying rally with a 445-foot solo home run to center field in the eighth inning and Jose Ramirez knotted the score at 9-9, scampering home on a Toronto error when Michael Brantley bounced a ball to first that Solarte could not handle.

Olson (2-2, 7.15 ERA) took the loss as Cleveland used six relievers across 5 2/3 innings. Carlos Carrasco started, but struggled with command, allowing six runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven batters and walked three, giving up a two-run home run to Russell Martin in the second inning and a two-run double to Josh Donaldson as Toronto scored three in the fourth.

Donaldson, playing for the first time since April 10 after a stint on the disabled list, greeted Tribe reliever Nick Goody in the sixth with a game-tying two-run homer to the bleachers in left field on the first pitch he saw.

It was the third straight home run allowed by Goody after giving up back-to-back dingers in his last outing against Texas on Tuesday. All three home runs came on consecutive pitches from the 26-year-old righty. Goody left the game in the seventh with an elbow injury after giving up a leadoff single to Kevin Pillar.

Zach McAllister relieved Goody and allowed a run on three hits in 1 2/3 innings.

Cleveland entered the bottom of the fourth trailing 5-0 and emerged with a 7-5 lead.

Back-to-back hits by Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion put two runners on base for Brandon Guyer, who lofted a one-out RBI double into the left field corner. Bradley Zimmer followed with a single up the middle that scored Encarnacion and Guyer.

Garcia then struck out Erik Gonzalez on a slider in the dirt that got away from Toronto catcher Russell Martin. Gonzalez hustled to first base and Zimmer reached third as Francisco Lindor stepped to the plate.

Lindor took a first pitch strike on a changeup from Garcia before blasting a three-run home run to right field for his sixth round-tripper of the year.

Up next

The Indians travel to New York to open a three-game weekend series against the Yankees. Josh Tomlin will face C.C. Sabathia in today's 7:05 p.m. series opener. Trevor Bauer takes on Sonny Gray at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday and Mike Clevinger faces Domingo German on Sunday.

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