First, Orlando Cabrera bumbled the ball. Then, he became consumed by it.
And as the veteran Cleveland Indians second baseman inexplicably stared at the cowhide at his feet, the Toronto Blue Jays kept rounding the bases.
It was comical to everybody but the Indians (31-20), who imploded in the fourth inning as the Blue Jays (28-26) tagged on seven runs and went on to an 11-1 victory at Rogers Centre on Monday.
It was the first of a three game series and the Indians swaggered into Toronto sporting the best record in the American League. That became hard to comprehend for many of the 12,902 on hand as they watched the follies unfold.
It began when Corey Patterson came to the plate with the bases loaded and two runs already in for the Blue Jays, who were leading 4-1. He stroked a ground ball toward Cabrera, tailor-made for an inning-ending double play.
First, Cabrera bobbled the ball for an error as Eric Thames crossed home plate from third base for Toronto's fifth run. Then, Cabrera compounded the gaffe, remaining hunched over near second base - with his backside facing the infield - sullenly staring at the offending ball still resting between his feet.
It was an open invitation for speedy Rajai Davis to continue all the way home from second, not even drawing a throw in the process.
Jo-Jo was a man
Jo-Jo Reyes, who had gone a major-league-record tying 28 starts without a win, was terrific in earning his first victory since June 13, 2008. It also marked the first complete game of his career. He got some pretty good defence Monday, as the Blue Jays turned three double plays.
Nix fakes the Indians out
After Davis rapped out a double to lead off the third inning for Toronto, Jayson Nix - the No. 9 hitter - twice showed bunt on the first two offerings from Cleveland pitcher Fausto Carmona. And why not? Nix was hauling around a .183 batting average at the time and sacrificing Davis over to third base is sound strategy. But Nix went ripping after that, and it paid off after he launched his third home run of the season into the seats in left field.
Quite the blast
Shelley Duncan certainly wasn't showing bunt when he stepped into the batter's box for Cleveland in the fourth. The burly designated hitter launched a high drive to left just inside the foul pole that landed a couple rows back in the fifth deck. The blast, which cut the Toronto lead to 2-1, marked just the 15th time a home run has landed in the stadium's upper reaches. The last to do it was Jayson Werth of the Philadelphia Phillies on June 27, 2009.
Lind's return imminent
Toronto manager John Farrell said first baseman Adam Lind, on the disabled list since May 8 with a sore back, could return to the big-league lineup as early as this weekend, when the Blue Jays are in Baltimore. Farrell said when he does return, Lind can expect to share duties at first base and DH with Juan Rivera until he shows his back can handle full-time work.
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