The crowd at Rogers Centre was standing and cheering lustily as pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes faced his final Cleveland Indians batter in the ninth inning on Monday night.
And when he blew the third-strike pitch Jack Hannahan to put the stamp on an emphatic Toronto Blue Jays victory, his teammates made a mad dash to the mound to celebrate the moment.
It wasn't a perfect game, or even a no-hitter, but it sure had all the trappings of one.
Toronto's 11-1 thumping of the Indians was remarkable in that it snapped a soul-sucking streak of 28 games without a victory for the 26-year-old lefty, who somehow managed to maintain a sunny attitude throughout the ordeal.
The slide had tied a major-league futility streak that Reyes wanted no part of but seemingly made the best of.
"I'm just glad it's over," Reyes said afterward to a pack of reporters, maintaining the same easy-going attitude that has endeared him to both the fans and his teammates.
"Everyone was pulling for him," said Toronto pitcher Ricky Romero, who was the first Blue Jay out of the dugout to reach Reyes on the mound after the game had ended.
"Everyone knows what's going on. But he's been busting his tail off as hard as anyone on this team and we all wanted him to win."
And Reyes ended the winning drought in style, with his first career complete game, allowing the one Cleveland run off just eight hits while striking out four.
For Reyes, now 1-4 on the year, it was his first victory since June 13, 2008.
"An outstanding game from Jo-Jo tonight," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "It's fitting that was a complete game win to end a much publicized streak.
"But he did a great job of wriggling in and out of a couple of jams early on. Three key double plays not only kept his pitch count down but really kept the game in check."
Reyes also had plenty of help from an Indians team that came to town sporting the best record in the American League but which has been vulnerable of late.
One night earlier Cleveland got spanked 7-0 by the Tampa Bay Rays and the Indians have now lost five of their last six.
In Monday's loss, the Indians surrendered seven of the runs in the fourth inning - five of them earned after Orlando Cabrera made a bad error at second base on a doubl-play ball that could have taken Cleveland out of the inning trailing only 4-1.
With one run already in on the play, Cabrera only compounded the problem when he continued to stare at the ball at his feet that also allowed Rajai Davis to score all the way from second.
By the time the inning was over, Toronto was leading 9-1.
"I think it was just a brain cramp, basically," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said charitably about Cabrera's gaffe. "The ball took him with his back to home plate because he was turning to second base. He tried to grab the ball more than once and kept not finding the grip.
"That being said, you have to turn around and try to stop the lead runner."
As Reyes walked off the mound once the game was official to a standing ovation, he responded by giving a big wave to the fans.
"They were awesome," Reyes said. "Even before the game a few fans were chanting, 'We believe.'
"It was just awesome to have the support of those guys."Report Typo/Error
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