Lyle Overbay cashed his 1,000th career hit against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night, a milestone of his 10-year Major League career that he had no idea he was approaching.
In what has developed into a concerning circumstance for Toronto, Overbay's hit was one of the few of any consequence as the listless Blue Jays fell for the third straight time to the Indians, 3-1, Wednesday night here at Progressive Field.
In losing for the fourth-consecutive outing, the Blue Jays (40-39) once again wasted a good starting effort from one of their starters, Jesse Litsch, as the sputtering offence could only manage to produce six hits against the last-placed Indians (30-47).
Even the long ball, the Blue Jays primary offensive weapon this season, is suddenly in short supply.
Toronto still leads the Major Leagues in home runs with 115 but has now been held homerless in each of the past three games, a season high.
"Their isn't much to say about that," said Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, whose team has now lost five of their last six and eight of their last 10. "Run support is short.
"Right now we just can't score any runs, just can't get a big hit with guys on the bags."
The Blue Jays have only averaged three runs per game over their last nine outings and 2.4 over the last five.
"It's bittersweet because we lost, it's one of those things," said Litsch, who pitched well despite giving up the loss to see his record fall to 0-3 since returning to the lineup after a long layoff recovering from elbow surgery.
After surrendering a home run to Shin-Soo Choo in the first inning, Litsch settled down after that and held the Indians to two runs off four hits over six innings of work.
"He had pretty good control," Gaston said. "His velocity was up a little bit if that gun is right out there. I thought he pitched a good ballgame."
But his teammates were unable to take advantage, stymied for the most part by Cleveland starter Aaron Laffey.
Laffey lasted six-plus innings and gave up one Toronto run off five hits to improve his record to 1-2 on the year.
The Blue Jays wasted the few opportunities they had to make a game of it.
With the Indians still clinging to a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning, Fred Lewis struck out in with the bases loaded to ruin what was perhaps Toronto's best chance.
Cleveland pushed its advantage to 2-0 in the sixth when Jason Donald scored from second on a single by Carlos Santana.
In the seventh, Toronto mounted another challenge after John Buck and then Overbay each stroked singles leading off the inning.
For Overbay, his hit to left field was the 1,000th of his big league career.
"Hopefully there's more to come," said Overbay, adding that he didn't realize the milestone was approaching.
With runners at first and third, Aaron Hill - who was Toronto's designated hitter in the game - stepped to the plate and wound up swinging at the first pitch he saw from Frank Herrmann, the new Cleveland pitcher.
The result was a weak pop-up to second base.
Hill was picked up by Nick Green who recorded an infield single that scored Buck and cut the Indians lead to one.
The Indians added an insurance run in the their half of the seventh on a home run by Matt LaPorta off Blue Jays reliever Shawn Camp.
Overbay said the lack of timely hitting has been killing Toronto's chances.
"We're going to live by it, die by it," Overbay said. "It's not like we're going out there trying to make outs.
"We're in here working, early work, and in the cage. You have to give some sort of credit to the pitcher, but you don't want to give too much."