TORONTO—The Toronto Blue Jays have been forced to use a piecemeal lineup of late with so many everyday players out of action.
Some of those backups are taking full advantage of the opportunity.
Ryan Goins hit a bases-loaded single to give the Blue Jays an 8-7 walk-off victory over the Cleveland Indians last night at Rogers Centre.
Ezequiel Carrera—another backup—scored the winning run as the Jays (13-21) came back from a four-run deficit to win consecutive series for the first time this season.
“Things have kind of flipped really in the month of May,” noted Jays' manager John Gibbons.
"We're starting to win some of those games that we couldn't win earlier in the season.
“A lot of the time that's what happens in baseball,” he added.
Carrera started the rally with a one-out single off Cody Allen (0-1), who then issued back-to-back walks to Justin Smoak and Steve Pearce.
Goins ripped the first pitch he saw down the right-field line to make a winner of Roberto Osuna (2-0), who worked one inning of relief.
“Coming back and bouncing back and getting back into a game is what we're all about,” Goins said.
“We scratched and clawed and got back into it, and won the game.”
Goins has been filling in for injured shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Carrera, meanwhile, started in right field with Jose Bautista serving as the designated hitter for the injured Kendrys Morales.
Bautista hit a three-run homer while Carrera added a two-run shot as the Jays won the rubber match of the three-game set.
“Winning a series against one of the best teams in baseball is definitely important,” Bautista said.
"It gets us off on the right foot [on this homestand].
“Hopefully we can keep this momentum going.”
The loss left the Indians (18-15) with a 4-5 record on their nine-game road trip.
“I've definitely played with fire a little bit the last few times out,” Allen admitted.
“The walks are killing me, the deep counts are killing me, and tonight it cost us a chance to win a ball game.”
The teams combined for 14 runs over the first four innings as both starters were hit hard.
Jason Kipnis touched up Toronto starter Francisco Liriano for a two-run double in the first inning but Bautista answered in the bottom half with a blast just inside the left-field pole.
Toronto reliever Dominic Leone came on in the third with the bases loaded and nobody out and gave up a bases-clearing double to Brandon Guyer, who was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
The Jays got a couple runs back in the bottom half. Pearce drove in Bautista with a sacrifice fly before Goins cashed in Smoak with a single.
Elsewhere in the AL, Oakland beat L.A. 3-1 and Tampa Bay bombed Kansas City 12-1.
Minnesota at Chicago was postponed.
Over in the NL, San Francisco beat New York 6-5, Colorado blanked Chicago 3-0, St. Louis topped Miami 7-5, and L.A. edged Pittsburgh 4-3 (10 innings).