Bichette homers, Stripling pitches Jays past Indians 3-0
McKenzie pitches well in Tribe loss
TORONTO (AP) — Bo Bichette homered and drove in all three runs, Ross Stripling pitched six sharp innings to win his second consecutive start and the Toronto Blue Jays blanked the Cleveland Indians 3-0 Thursday night.
Toronto (57-49) won for the sixth time in seven games since returning north of the border last week and moved a season-best eight games above .500.
Bichette hit a two-run homer in the fourth, his 20th, and added an RBI single in the sixth. Both hits came off Cleveland right-hander Triston McKenzie (1-5).
Stripling (5-6) beat Kansas City as the Blue Jays returned to Rogers Centre last Friday, snapping a four-start winless stretch.
Against Cleveland, Stripling pitched around an error and a walk in the first and didn’t allow a hit until Owen Miller’s one-out single in the fifth. The right-hander gave up three hits, all singles. He walked one and struck out six.
Consecutive hits by Amed Rosario and Franmil Reyes gave Cleveland runners at the corners with one out in the sixth, but Stripling ended his outing by striking out Bobby Bradley and getting Harold Ramirez to ground into a fielder’s choice.
Stripling is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts against the Indians this season. He earned his first win with Toronto in a May 30 start at Cleveland.
Trevor Richards worked a perfect seventh, Tim Mayza pitched around a walk in the eighth and Adam Cimber finished with a 1-2-3 ninth, getting the save in his first opportunity of the season.
McKenzie retired the first 10 Blue Jays batters in order before Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled. One out later, Bichette hammered a 2-0 pitch into the second deck in left.
Bichette’s drive was Toronto’s 164th home run of the season, matching San Francisco for the major league lead.
McKenzie’s seven-inning outing matched his career high. He allowed three runs and five hits.
Indians: C Roberto Perez, scratched from Wednesday’s lineup because of back spasms, got the day off. He will be re-evaluated Friday, acting manager DeMarlo Hale said. … RHP Aaron Civale (sprained middle finger) threw his fourth bullpen, mixing in sliders and cutters for the first time. … 3B Jose Ramirez was held out of the starting lineup.
Blue Jays: RHP Alek Manoah (3-1, 2.47 ERA) pitches Friday in the opener of a four-game weekend series against the Red Sox. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (9-6, 3.71) starts for Boston.
Indians: RHP Cal Quantrill (2-2, 3.40 ERA) goes Friday as Cleveland returns home to begin a three-game series against Detroit. RHP Matt Manning (2-4, 5.59) starts for the Tigers.
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