05/05/09 6:00 PM ET
Lind leads way as Jays rally past Tribe
Slugger plates five, homers in decisive seventh inning
By Larry Millson / Special to MLB.com
Lind drove in five runs and twice gave Toronto the lead Tuesday, the second time for good with a three-run homer in the seventh inning, to lead the Blue Jays to a 10-6 victory over the Indians before a crowd of 22,005 at Rogers Centre.
"It's definitely not what I anticipated," said Lind, 25, who has been used mostly as the designated hitter with the arrival of 21-year-old Travis Snider as the left fielder. "I was just hoping to stay here all year for the first time. That was really my goal."
Lind played 18, 89 and 88 games for the Blue Jays in the three previous seasons, but also spent time in the Minors -- the past two seasons at Triple-A. The Blue Jays have played 29 games and Lind has batted in a team-leading 29 runs and has six home runs, so another Triple-A tour would seem to be out of the question.
This was another wild one, coming hours after Monday's 12-inning Tribe 9-7 victory.
It appeared as if the Indians might sweep the two games after they scored four runs against the Jays' bullpen in the top of the seventh. That gave Cleveland a 6-3 lead and spoiled the chances of left-hander Brett Cecil from earning a win in his big league debut. Cecil allowed six hits and two runs, one earned, in six innings with no walks, but he also hit three batters.
But the Blue Jays came back with seven runs in the bottom of the seventh, with the left-handed-hitting Lind driving in the three decisive runs with his home run on a slider from left-handed reliever Tony Sipp.
"I figured he was going to throw it, because I faced him last night and he threw all fastballs, and he made me kind of look stupid on the first pitch with the slider," Lind said. "After he came up and in, I figured he was going to come down and away with the slider."
Sipp also allowed the third homer of the season by Scott Rolen, who followed Lind to the plate and completed the scoring. It was the first time this season that the Blue Jays have had back-to-back home runs, and the first time since last Sept. 2 against the Minnesota Twins.
Brian Wolfe (1-0) called up from Triple-A on Friday, allowed two hits in two-thirds of an inning to take the win, while former Blue Jay Vinnie Chulk took the loss by allowing two runs on one hit and one walk without retiring a batter.
Scott Downs, who was not available Monday night because he had pitched in each of the three previous games, got the final five outs.
The victory gave the Blue Jays four wins in their five-game homestand and put their record at 19-10, as the Indians dropped to 10-17.
After the late night on Monday and a trip to Anaheim coming after Tuesday's game, there was no batting practice.
"We just kind of showed up and played today," Lind said.
"He doesn't surprise me at all," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said of Lind. "He just gets better all the time. He's patient up there. He's got a plan and he pretty much sticks to his plan most of the time. He has no problems with lefties -- he hangs right in there with them."
Cecil's six strikeouts equaled the club record for a big league debut as a starter. Dustin McGowan did it on July 30, 2005, against the Texas Rangers.
"Cecil did a good job for us," Gaston said. "He gave us a chance to win the game. He's a kid I liked in Spring Training. He didn't pitch well, but I knew he had four different pitches that he can command, and he did that today."
Before being called up on Friday, Cecil was 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA in Triple-A.
"I was pretty calm since I got here," Cecil said. "It really actually didn't set in that it was the big leagues until I got out there on the mound. My knees were shaking a little bit, but after the first inning, all that was gone."
The Indians scored twice in the second off Cecil. One run was unearned because of an error by Snider on Ben Fransico's single to left that allowed Matt LaPorta to score from first and Francisco to go to second. Francisco stole third and scored on Grady Sizemore's fielder's choice.
Cecil hit two batters in the inning, LaPorta and Kelly Shoppach. He hit Shoppach again in the fifth.
"It's definitely a good thing to establish the inside part of the plate," Cecil said. "You've got to keep them uncomfortable in there. If they're comfortable, they're going to tear you apart."
The Blue Jays scored once in the bottom of the second on Lind's single and Lyle Overbay's two-out double.
Toronto took the lead in the sixth against Cleveland starter Anthony Reyes on Lind's two-out single. Snider led off with a single, and Marco Scutaro bunted for a single. The runners advanced on Alex Rios's tapper in front of the plate that resulted in the second out. Vernon Wells walked to set up Lind's hit.
In the seventh, Cleveland snapped reliever Jason Frasor's scoreless string at 11 innings on Victor Martinez's bases-loaded single against left-hander Jesse Carlson, who replaced Frasor with one on and one out. Carlson's wild pitch scored another run. Wolfe replaced him and gave up Jhonny Peralta's two-run single.
The Blue Jays came back with seven runs on six hits in the bottom of the inning. Rafael Perez took over for Reyes and got one quick out before giving up a single to Raul Chavez and another to Snider. Chulk came in and walked Scutaro to load the bases. Hill singled in two runs. Jensen Lewis came in to allow Rios' run-scoring single. Wells flied out, and Sipp came in to face Lind, who homered to right on a 1-2 pitch.
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.