CLEVELAND—Toronto was no match for Mike Clevinger, who was stopped yesterday only by upper back tightness that forced him from the game after five scoreless innings.
Clevinger struck out 10 and allowed one hit to lead the Cleveland Indians over the struggling Blue Jays 3-1 for a four-game sweep.
Clevinger felt the back tighten up on his second pitch of the fifth.
He breezed through the inning with two strikeouts and a groundout, then mentioned the issue after reaching the dugout.
He tried to persuade pitching coach Carl Willis and the team's medical staff to leave him in the game.
“They made the right call," Clevinger said. "It's not worth it right now, this early. It's just being safe.”
Clevinger (1-0) has pitched 12 scoreless innings over his first two starts, striking out 22.
He retired his first nine hitters, walked Socrates Brito leading off the fourth, then gave up a double to Freddy Galvis. Clevinger fanned Randal Grichuk, Rowdy Tellez and Teoscar Hern√°ndez in order, all swinging. He threw 75 pitches in all.
Clevinger plans to take his next turn, which should be at Kansas City next weekend.
Indians pitchers struck out 16, raising their three-game total to 57.
Carlos Santana, reacquired during the off-season, had an RBI double in the first and is hitting .419 with a 1.067 OPS.
Tyler Naquin had three hits, including a run-scoring single in the first. Jose Ramirez added an RBI double in the fifth.
Brad Hand got five outs for his fourth save, completing a three-hitter. Pinch-hitter Lourdes Gurriel grounded into an inning-ending double play in the eighth.
Marcus Stroman (0-2) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings with six strikeouts. Danny Jansen had an RBI single in the eighth off Adam Cimber.
In other MLB action yesterday, the Nationals defeated the Mets 12-9; the Tigers beat the Royals 3-1; the Phillies edged the Twins 2-1; the Yankees clobbered the Orioles 15-3; the Braves edged the Marlins 4-3; the Pirates beat the Reds 7-5; the Mariners sunk the Red Sox 12-5; the Brewers beat the Cubs 4-2; the Astros edged the Athletics 9-8; the Cardinals soared past the Padres 4-1; the Rays blanked the Giants 10-0; the Angels defeated the Rangers 7-2; the Red Sox blanked the D-backs 5-3; and the Dodgers conquered the Rockies 12-6.