A franchise-best 14th straight win did not come easy for the Cleveland Indians as they scraped a 2-1 win in a wild game in Toronto on Friday.
Carlos Santana homered in the 19th inning off infielder Darwin Barney as the Indians won a game in which the Blue Jays asked two infielders to pitch after exhausting their bullpen. Toronto also saw three ejections.
“I guess if you’re going to set a record, you might as well do it the hard way,” Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer said.
Cleveland won 13 straight in 1942 and again in 1951.
It is the longest winning streak since Atlanta won 14 straight in 2013, and the longest by an American League team since the Oakland Athletics won 20 in a row in 2002.
Santana doubled and scored in the third as the surging Indians survived a marathon game and disappointed a sellout crowd who came for a Canada Day matinee that lasted 6 hours, 13 minutes, featured 19 pitchers and 34 left on base.
The 19 innings matched the longest game in Blue Jays history, which was against Detroit in August 2014.
Having used seven of their eight relievers, the Indians turned to Bauer, yesterday’s scheduled starter, in the 15th. Bauer (7-2) worked five innings for the win.
Only closer Cody Allen, who was unavailable after working the previous three games, did not pitch for Cleveland.
After seven Blue Jays relievers combined to pitch 10-1/3 scoreless innings, Toronto turned to infielder Ryan Goins in the 18th and replaced him with second baseman Barney in the 19th. The infielders became the ninth and 10th position players to pitch for Toronto.
Toronto’s only run came in the sixth, when Justin Smoak snapped an 0-for-18 slump by homering off Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin. It was the eighth of the season for Smoak and the 100th of his career.
The game started dramatically with two Toronto ejections. Major league RBI leader Edwin Encarnacion was ejected for arguing after being called out on strikes to end the first inning. Manager John Gibbons was also ordered out.
Encarnacion made contact with home plate umpire Vic Carapazza’s left shoulder after being ejected. Gibbons rushed out to break up the argument and was also tossed. Catcher Russell Martin was ejected by Carapazza after striking out to end the 13th.
In other games, it was:
• Mariners 5, Orioles 2
• Marlins 7, Braves 5, 12 inns
• Mets 10, Cubs 2
• Red Sox 5, Angels 4
• Giants 6, Diamondbacks 4
• Nationals 3, Reds 2, 14 inns
• Astros 5, White Sox 0
• Rangers 3, Twins 2
• Dodgers 5, Rockies 0
• Cardinals 7, Brewers 1
• Tigers 10, Rays 2
• Pirates 7, Athletics 3
• Phillies 4, Royals 3
• Padres 7, Yankees 6
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