Friday, October 31, 2014

Jays limp home from trip

CINCINNATI, Ohio—The Toronto Blue Jays went limping home from their long, losing road trip.
The struggling AL East leaders lost infielder Brett Lawrie and right-fielder Jose Bautista with injuries while falling 4-3 to the Cincinnati Reds yesterday.

Toronto was 3-7 on its visit to Baltimore, Yankee Stadium, and Cincinnati.
Lawrie—twice hit in the left hand by pitches earlier in the week—sustained a broken right index finger when he was hit by a pitch from Johnny Cueto in the second inning.
The team didn’t immediately announce how long he would be out.
“It’s definitely tough,” said Lawrie, who said he expects to be placed on the disabled list.
“We’re big pieces of the puzzle, especially [Bautista],” he noted.
It’s tough on the team to not have all its bullets,” Lawrie added. “We just have to keep on grinding.”
Bautista left because of tightness in his left hamstring, manager John Gibbons said.
The all-star outfielder had a single and a sacrifice bunt before leaving the game.
Cueto pitched eight effective innings while Todd Frazier broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth with a two-run homer off R.A. Dickey (6-6).
Toronto now has lost five-of-six games, and also has dropped five-straight series.
Cueto (7-5) gave up three runs (one earned) and leads the NL with a 1.86 ERA.
Gibbons became just the latest opposing manager to be dazzled by Cueto, although he also was impressed by his own starter, who got two extra days’ of rest after his last start because of a sore groin.
“I thought [Dickey] was pretty good, except for the home-run ball,“ Gibbons said.
“That’s been his nemesis.”
Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for his 13th save.
Cueto led off the fifth with a bunt single. One out later, Frazier lined his team-leading 17th homer of the season—and the sixth allowed by Dickey in his last four starts.
“I felt good,” Dickey said. “I gave up nine hits but I think only two or three of them could be described as hard-hit.
“I think all but one of my earned runs over my last four or five starts have come on home runs,” he noted.
“That’s tough to overcome, especially against a guy like Cueto.”
Edwin Encarnacion led off the Toronto eighth with his 24th home run, connecting against his former team.
He hit a pair of three-run shots Friday night while Toronto was coming back from an 8-0 deficit to grab a 14-9 win.

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