Turning point The fourth inning on Thursday was one that Toronto Blue Jays starter Shaun Marcum won't soon forget, a 40-pitch nightmare that resulted in the Cleveland Indians breaking out for six runs off five hits, including back-to-back home runs by Matt LaPorta and Shelley Duncan.
Offensive player LaPorta went 1-for-4 in the game but his lone hit, a three-run blast to left field in the fourth, was a monster. It was the third consecutive game he had hit a home run, the first time in his career he has managed that feat.
Starting pitchers The Blue Jays had been able to rely on Marcum this season for a pick-me-up following a loss. The right hander was 7-1 in nine starts this season following a Toronto loss. Marcum wasn't able to provide that magic on Thursday, taking an early exit after four innings. He surrendered six runs off five hits, including two home runs, and his record dropped to 7-4. Justin Masterson lasted 8 1/3 innings for the Indians, allowing Toronto's lone run while scattering eight hits and striking out five to improve to 3-7.
Notes What better way to try to snap out of a losing string than sit one of your best players this year. That was the fate Thursday for Alex Gonzalez, who had started 76 of Toronto's 79 games at shortstop heading into the contest. His place in the starting lineup was filled by Nick Green. Gonzalez leads all shortstops in the major leagues in home runs (14), extra base hits (36), total bases (141), and doubles (22). … Adeiny Hechavarria, the Blue Jays' Cuban minor-league prospect, made his debut in Double-A with New Hampshire on Wednesday. The shortstop went 1-for-2 at the plate, with two walks.
On deck Today, at New York Yankees, 1:05 p.m. EDT
Starters Toronto LHP Brett Cecil (7-5, 4.39) against New York RHP A.J. Burnett (6-7, 5.25).
TV Rogers Sportsnet