TORONTO — Kevin Pillar hit a solo shot in the 11th inning to give the Toronto Blue Jays a 3-2 walkoff victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night at Rogers Centre.
He turned on a 2-1 pitch from sidearm reliever Adam Cimber (3-6) for his 12th home run of the season. The no-doubt blast was his second career walkoff home run.
Reliever Danny Barnes (3-2) recorded one out for the victory.
Cleveland, which entered play with a magic number of seven to clinch the American League Central title, fell to 80-61. Toronto improved to 64-77.
Indians starter Carlos Carrasco didn’t factor in the decision despite a strong eight-inning effort. He had 14 strikeouts and allowed six hits, one earned run and a walk.
Carrasco retired the first seven Blue Jays in order before Richard Urena slotted a single through the right side of the infield. Urena was caught stealing on the next pitch.
Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada held the Indians off the scoreboard until the fifth inning, when Jose Ramirez stroked a single to centre that plated Francisco Lindor.
With two runners on, the Toronto right-hander struck out former teammate Edwin Encarnacion to keep it a one-run game.
Rowdy Tellez hit a one-out double in the bottom half of the frame and moved to third when Ramirez misplayed Pillar’s slow grounder. Aledmys Diaz followed with a sacrifice fly that brought Tellez home with the tying run.
Yan Gomes restored Cleveland’s one-run cushion with a solo shot in the sixth. It was his 13th home run of the season.
Estrada worked six innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs, two walks. He had five strikeouts.
The Indians threatened in the seventh by putting two runners on but this time it was reliever Tyler Clippard who fanned Encarnacion to end the frame.
In the bottom half, Randal Grichuk led off with a double and Tellez drove him in with another double. It was the sixth two-base hit for Tellez in eight at-bats since his callup from triple-A Buffalo.
Pillar reached third base in the ninth inning after stealing second and advancing another 90 feet on a throwing error by Gomes. Urena flew out to force extra innings.
The Indians loaded the bases in the top of the 11th before Barnes came on with two outs and got Ramirez to ground out.
The Blue Jays outhit the Indians 9-8. Announced attendance was 26,830 and the game took three hours 51 minutes to play.
Notes: Before the game, the Blue Jays assigned right-hander Mike Hauschild to the Bisons. … Sean Reid-Foley (1-2, 5.51 earned-run average) is scheduled to start for Toronto on Saturday afternoon against fellow right-hander Adam Plutko (4-5, 5.04). … The Indians dropped the Chief Wahoo image from their hats and jerseys for the four-game series, which continues through Sunday. The logo will be retired from on-field use in 2019.
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Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press