Talbot struggles as Indians fall to Blue Jays

Associated Press
Toronto Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion, right, congratulates teammate Travis Snider after Snider drove him in with his  two-run home run against Cleveland Indians pitcher Mitch Talbot in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland on Friday, July 8, 2011.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Mitch Talbot kept falling behind and this time not even Travis Hafner and the Cleveland Indians' late-inning offense could bail him out.

Talbot (2-6) gave up eight runs early as Travis Snider drove in five and Rajai Davis knocked in four for Toronto and the Blue Jays bounced back from a stunning loss to beat the Indians 11-7 on Friday night.

"He really put us behind the 8-ball," Indians manager Manny Acta said of the struggling right-hander. "The offense showed some life, but unfortunately it was too big a hole to dig out of it."

Jo-Jo Reyes (4-7) pitched 5 2-3 shaky innings for his first win in his last four starts. He gave up three unearned runs, eight hits and two walks without a strikeout as Cleveland left 12 men on base.

Acta said Talbot's inability to work ahead in the count was a key reason Cleveland couldn't build off its exciting 5-4 win Thursday night on Hafner's walkoff grand slam — the Indians' 20th comeback win of the year.

"Just not enough first-pitch strikes," Acta said.

Davis had a two-run single in the second and an RBI single in the fourth. Snider's two-run shot off Talbot in the sixth made it 7-2. He added a two-run double in the ninth against Vinnie Pestano.

Talbot may be replaced in the rotation if the Indians want to keep their AL Central lead, which dropped to a half-game over Detroit.

"He's scuffling right now, trying to be too fine," Acta said. "We're not going to over react, but it has been 3½ months. We are on top and have to do what is best for the team."

Talbot allowed 11 hits and eight runs over 5 1-3 innings. He is 0-5 in seven starts since winning in Toronto on May 31. The right-hander has been rocked for 27 runs in his last 24 2-3 innings, a 9.85 ERA.

"I need to be more 1-2 (in the count) than 2-1," he said. "I'm maybe trying to be too fine."

Talbot said he feels pressure to succeed.

"It is a given that when you are in the running and you're not doing the job they are probably going to replace you," he said.

Cleveland got within 9-6 in the eighth. Asdrubal Cabrera, named the AL starting shortstop for the All-Star game when Yankees star Derek Jeter pulled out of next Tuesday's game, hit the fourth consecutive single off Shawn Camp to make it 9-4.

Jason Frasor came on with the bases loaded to fan Hafner on four pitches, dropping the slugger to 0 for 7 lifetime against the reliever.

"That was a great spot to hit in," Hafner said, adding that he felt the energy from the crowd, which stood and cheered during his at-bat. "He just made some really good pitches."

Blue Jays manager John Farrell said, "Frasor came in and did an outstanding job, Obviously, the strikeout to Hafner was probably the key moment in the game."

Travis Buck, however, lined a two-run double before Frasor got two outs to leave runners on second and third. Cleveland went 6 for 22 with runners in scoring position overall.

Edwin Encarnacion had four hits for the Blue Jays, who won for the fourth time in 12 games.

"The thing we've seen time and time again this season, is when we've had some adversity the day before we've put it behind us," Farrell said. "We continue to battle and compete."

Toronto took a 3-0 lead in the second. One run scored on a groundout by Snider. Talbot struck out J.P. Arencibia, then yielded a two-run single to Davis.

Cleveland made it 3-2 in the bottom half when third baseman Jose Bautista's throwing error opened the door. Jack Hannahan had an RBI single, the first of his three hits. Michael Brantley, who had four hits added an RBI groundout.

Davis had an RBI single and scored from first on Yunel Escobar's double in the fourth. In the sixth, Davis reached on a fielder's choice and stole second. He also stole third and scored when third baseman Hannahan couldn't handle the throw from catcher Lou Marson.

Cleveland got within 8-3 in the sixth when first baseman Adam Lind misplayed a sharp grounder down the line by Hafner, scoring Brantley from second. With runners on the corners, shortstop Escobar's fine play got the Blue Jays out of it. Buck, pinch-hitting for Shelley Duncan, poked a ball between third and short. Escobar backhanded it as he skidded to a stop, then made a strong throw to first to end the brief rally.

Davis had an RBI double in the eighth for his second four-RBI game this season, one off his career best.

Notes: Snider had five RBIs on Sept. 13, 2008, at Boston. ... Before the game, Toronto RHP Frank Francisco apologized to reporters for his profane tirade after giving up three runs the previous night. "I said things I wasn't supposed to say. I was mad. That's not an excuse," Francisco said. ... Cleveland recalled INF Luis Valbuena from Triple-A Columbus, where he hit .313 with 56 RBIs in 77 games. ... RHP Zach McAllister, who made his major league debut Thursday, was sent back to Triple-A. ... The Indians hope to have 3B Lonnie Chisenhall back soon. The rookie sustained a broken nasal bone when hit by a pitch near his right cheek Thursday. Trainer Lonnie Soloff said Chisenhall should be available when swelling subsides around his right eye. ... Former Indians closer Michael Jackson, who had 94 saves for Cleveland in 1997-99, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

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