September 19, 2014

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Blue Jays 4, Indians 2: Danny Salazar still winless on road after short outing

Toronto Blue Jays Edwin Encarnacion hits a two-run home run off Danny Salazar Thursday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

Toronto Blue Jays Edwin Encarnacion hits a two-run home run off Indians starter Danny Salazar Thursday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

TORONTO — Danny Salazar is still waiting to celebrate his first win away from home.

Edwin Encarnacion hit two home runs, Juan Francisco also connected and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Salazar and the Cleveland Indians 4-2 Thursday night to give manager John Gibbons his 400th career victory.

Starting with two extra days of rest, Salazar (1-4) allowed two runs and five hits in four innings, his second-shortest outing of the season. He walked two and struck out three.

The second-year right-hander is 0-6 with a 4.28 ERA in 10 career road starts.

“Today my pitches just weren’t working,” Salazar said. “I just didn’t have a good feeling for the ball today to command my fastball, and my change-up wasn’t there.”

The Blue Jays made things rough on Salazar by driving up his pitch count.

“A lot of deep counts,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He had to work for everything,”

Encarnacion hit a solo homer off Salazar in the second and added a two-run blast in the fifth off C.C. Lee. It was his second multihomer game of the season and the 13th of his career.

“He’s one of the top sluggers in the game,” Gibbons said.

Encarnacion finished 3-for-4, adding a double in the third. His only out was a hard liner right at third baseman Carlos Santana to open the seventh.

Two batters after Encarnacion’s homer in the second, Francisco also went deep off Salazar (1-4), who lost for the fourth time in seven starts.

David Murphy homered for the Indians, whose streak of series victories was snapped at three.

Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ allowed one run and six hits in a season-high six innings. Happ (2-1) walked two and struck out four.

“His fastball was really getting on guys,” Cleveland outfielder Ryan Raburn said. “I know it’s 92, 93 (mph), but out of his hand it just seemed a lot harder. And he spotted his pitches.”

The Indians dropped to 4-10 when facing a left-handed starter, including an 0-8 mark on the road.

“I don’t get too caught up in what’s happened,” Francona said. “I always feel like we’re going to win.”

Brett Cecil pitched the seventh, Steve Delabar got two outs in the eighth and Aaron Loup got the third. Casey Janssen finished for his second save in two chances.

One night after setting season highs with 15 runs and 22 hits, Cleveland struggled to get anything going offensively. Yan Gomes grounded into a double play with men at first and second in the second, and the Indians twice grounded into fielder’s choices with two on in the fourth.

“We just never really could sustain an inning,” Francona said. “We’d get a couple guys on here and there and we just couldn’t really get three or four hits in a row.”

Murphy got the Indians on the board with his one-out homer in the fifth. Michael Bourn reached on a two-out single and Nick Swisher walked, but Raburn grounded out.

Raburn hit a leadoff double in the eighth and Santana walked, but Asdrubal Cabrera lined out to right and pinch hitter Lonnie Chisenhall flied out on a ball that center fielder Anthony Gose tracked down in the gap.

“That was probably our biggest chance,” Francona said.

Gomes chased Delabar with an RBI single before Loup came on and struck out Murphy.
The Blue Jays used a single, a hit batter and a walk to load the bases against Salazar in the fourth, but Melky Cabrera struck out to end the threat.

Jose Bautista singled off Lee to start the fifth and Encarnacion followed with a second-deck blast to left, pausing at home plate to admire his towering drive.

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