TORONTO — With their bullpen fatigued after a 19-inning marathon a day earlier, the Toronto Blue Jays were hoping starter Marco Estrada could go deep in Saturday’s matinee against Cleveland.
He was able to play through some lower back pain and provided five much-needed innings in a 9-6 victory that ended the Indians’ 14-game winning streak.
"He was battling and his velocity was down but really he gave us a chance to win the game," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "He left tied, five innings were definitely what we needed.
"We couldn’t really have any less than that."
Josh Donaldson provided a game-tying solo homer in the seventh inning and drove in Ezequiel Carrera with the go-ahead run in the eighth. Michael Saunders added a two-run double off Tommy Hunter before Roberto Osuna came on for his 16th save.
"They were fortunate enough to throw the last punch and that was the outcome of the game," Hunter said.
Carrera was originally called out by umpire D.J. Reyburn but the decision was overturned on review. He dived for home plate and touched it with his outstretched left hand just as catcher Chris Gimenez appeared to tag his leg.
"I definitely thought I had him in the leg," Gimenez said. "The explanation they gave us was his arm got in there before I tagged him. I don’t necessarily think that was the case."
The review took a rather long three minutes 32 seconds.
"I went and looked at it six or seven times," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "I don’t know how you can overrule that. I couldn’t tell if he’s safe or out."
The crowd of 46,197 roared its approval at the decision.
"We liked what we saw but you never know for sure," Gibbons said. "But we caught a break. A big break."
Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer and Troy Tulowitzki added a two-run shot for Toronto (44-39). Rajai Davis hit for the cycle for the Indians (49-31).
Davis opened the game with a homer off Estrada, who gave up leadoff hits in the first three innings. The right-hander was in obvious discomfort at times and said he would probably undergo an MRI exam before a decision is made on his next start.
"It’s something we’re going to have to talk about, I don’t know if I can do this again," he said. "If it hurts as much as it did today, I’m probably going to have to watch the next game."
Jason Grilli (1-0) worked a clean eighth inning for the victory while Dan Otero (2-1) shouldered the loss.
Cleveland’s 14-game win streak was the longest in franchise history. It was also the longest in the American League since the Oakland Athletics won 20 in a row in 2002.
Davis, meanwhile, became the eighth player in Indians history to hit for the cycle. He tripled in the third, doubled in the seventh and singled in the ninth.
"That was very impressive," said Francona. "He’s been such a spark for us in so many ways."
Cleveland pitcher Zach McAllister made his first start of the season despite working an inning of relief in the 2-1 victory on Friday. Trevor Bauer was originally tabbed to start but was pressed into five innings of relief work after the Indians depleted their bullpen in Friday’s six-hour game.
McAllister was pulled after a 31-pitch opening frame and replaced by Jeff Manship, who also worked an inning.
Left-hander Shawn Morimando, who was called up from double-A Akron before the game, made his big-league debut in the third inning. He gave up a pair of singles in the frame and worked 3 2/3 innings in all.
Cleveland’s Carlos Santana hit a solo shot, his 18th homer of the season, in the fourth inning.
Notes: Before the game, the Blue Jays recalled pitchers Aaron Loup and Drew Hutchison from triple-A Buffalo and optioned pitcher Bo Schultz to the Bisons. Infielder Ryan Goins was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a forearm strain. He pitched a scoreless 18th inning on Friday. … The Indians designated utilityman Michael Martinez for assignment. … The game took three hours 19 minutes to play. … Toronto will send left-hander J.A. Happ (10-3, 3.70 earned-run average) to the mound for the finale of the four-game series on Sunday. The Indians will counter with right-hander Corey Kluber (8-7, 3.50). … The Blue Jays will continue their 11-game homestand with a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals and then a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers.