Bichette homers, Stripling pitches Jays past Indians 3-0

Aug 5, 2021, 6:56 AM | Updated: 9:16 pm

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.

With its ninth shutout, 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 right-hander Triston McKenzie (1-5).

Bichette said he and McKenzie, both young players from Florida, have competed against each other for more than a decade and are good friends off the field.

Still, getting the upper hand on an old pal didn’t make Bichette feel too good.

“To get the win is what we want, but I take no glory in hitting homers off my friends,” Bichette said.

Bichette hit a go-ahead homer for the 10th time this season and had his 37th multi-hit game, tying him with Detroit’s Jonathan Schoop for the AL lead.

“One of these years, I don’t know if it’s going to be next year or the year after, he’s going to lead the league in hitting,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said of Bichette. “He’s that good.”

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.

“The changeup took a good step forward today,” Stripling said. “I was throwing it early in the count, middle of the count, putting guys away with it. I think that was kind of the game-changer for me today.”

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.

“He kind of got us off balance a little bit,” acting Indians manager DeMarlo Hale said.

Stripling is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts against the Indians this season after earning 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 equaled his career high. He allowed three runs and five hits.

“I thought Triston was good,” Hale said. “He was pounding the zone and mixing his pitches. I’m happy with the performance. The offense just couldn’t muster anything up.”

STARTING STRONG

Blue Jays starting pitchers have a 1.25 ERA over 43 1/3 innings through the first seven games of the current homestand.

CLEANING UP

Bichette has 15 RBIs in 13 games since moving into the cleanup spot in the batting order.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: C Roberto Perez, scratched from Wednesday’s lineup because of back spasms, got the day off. He will be re-evaluated Friday, 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: Montoyo said Guerrero was fine after being hit on the pad on the back of his left hand by a pitch from Bryan Shaw in the eighth.

UP NEXT

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.

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.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Laborers cheer at a fan festival at the Asian Town cricket stadium in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25,...
Associated Press

On outskirts of Doha, laborers watch World Cup they built

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Far from Doha’s luxury hotels and sprawling new World Cup stadiums, scores of South Asian workers poured into a cricket ground in the city’s sandy outskirts to enjoy the tournament they helped create. Unlike the official FIFA fan zone near Doha’s pristine corniche, this one has no $14 beer or foreign […]
1 day ago
England's Jude Bellingham, centre, scores his side's opening goal during the World Cup group B socc...
Associated Press

World Cup analysts cite more goals from crosses, penalties

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — More crosses creating more goals. Winning penalties with “total genius” like Cristiano Ronaldo. Pressing opponents to quickly win back the ball. FIFA’s expert analysts picked their World Cup trends Saturday from the first 16 games after each team played once. What the Technical Study Group saw was more and better crosses […]
1 day ago
Iran's team players celebrate at the end of the World Cup group B soccer match between Wales and Ir...
Associated Press

Iran shuts out noise at World Cup but United States looms

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — After a World Cup start clouded by a disastrous loss and persistent questions about the civil unrest back home, Iran is celebrating the prospect of its first ever trip to the knockout stage. But first, Team Melli faces the United States. Iran defeated Wales 2-0 Friday and collected the three points […]
1 day ago
Brazil's Neymar, lies on the pitch as he receives first aid during the World Cup group G soccer mat...
Associated Press

Brazil with plenty of options to replace Neymar at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — With Neymar out for at least another match, Brazil coach Tite must now start thinking about a replacement — and this time he has plenty of options. Brazil is not as Neymar-dependent as it used to be, and Tite could go several different ways to replace the Paris Saint-Germain forward for […]
1 day ago
Australia's head coach Graham Arnold celebrates after winning the World Cup group D soccer match be...
Associated Press

Australia’s emotions run high after rare World Cup win

AL WAKRAH, Qatar (AP) — Mitchell Duke celebrated scoring Australia’s winning goal by forming a “J” with his fingers in a tribute to his son Jaxson, who was in the stands. Coach Graham Arnold dragged injured winger Martin Boyle — on crutches — into the celebratory huddle as fans sang merrily along to Men at […]
1 day ago
Al Gharafa Park is viewed in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. Qatar unveiled a plan last Octob...
Associated Press

Energy-rich Qatar faces fast-rising climate risks at home

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — At a suburban park near Doha, the capital city of Qatar, cool air from vents in the ground blasted joggers on a November day that reached almost 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit). The small park with air-conditioned paths is an apt illustration of World Cup host Qatar’s answers, so […]
1 day ago
Bichette homers, Stripling pitches Jays past Indians 3-0