EditorsNote: Correct to "tripled" in lede
Oscar Mercado homered, tripled and drove in two runs, Mike Clevinger struck out seven in seven innings, and the visiting Cleveland Indians defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 Monday night.
Francisco Lindor also had two RBIs for the Indians in the opener of a three-game series. Cleveland won for the eighth time in nine games.
Justin Smoak and Billy McKinney homered for the Blue Jays, who have six losses in the past nine games.
Clevinger (4-2) allowed three runs, five hits and two walks to win his third straight decision over four starts.
Toronto left-hander Ryan Borucki (0-1) allowed four runs (two earned), seven hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings in his season debut after being sidelined due to elbow inflammation. He struck out three.
The Indians scored two unearned runs in the second inning.
Jason Kipnis led off with a single. After a flyout, Kipnis was called out on the force play at second on a grounder to first by Jake Bauers. The Indians won a challenge of the call after the video revealed shortstop Freddy Galvis did not have his foot on second base. Galvis was charged with an error.
The runners advanced to second and third on a groundout before Francisco Lindor hit a two-run single.
Smoak's 16th homer of the season cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second. It came after Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was out trying for a double on his single to right.
Cleveland led 3-1 after Jose Ramirez doubled with two outs in the third and scored on a single by Kipnis.
The Indians went up 4-1 in the fifth. Kipnis walked and scored on a double by Roberto Perez.
Toronto cut the deficit to one with two outs in the bottom of the fifth when Danny Jansen was hit by a pitch and McKinney hit his sixth homer of the year.
Cleveland regained a three-run lead in the sixth. Tyler Naquin doubled and scored on Mercado's triple. Carlos Santana and Jordan Luplow walked before Toronto reliever Justin Shafer left because of discomfort in his left elbow. Ramirez greeted Tim Mayza with a sacrifice fly.
Mercado led off the eighth against Sam Gaviglio with his eighth homer of the season.
Cleveland's Tyler Clippard pitched two perfect innings to close out the win.
--Field Level Media