The Cleveland Indians already have learned to appreciate Myles Straw. They hope the new arrival can help them earn a second straight victory over the host Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Straw, obtained in a trade with the Houston Astros on Friday, helped Cleveland with his bat and his glove Monday afternoon in a 5-2, 10-inning victory at Toronto.
The fleet center fielder was 2-for-5 with a stolen base Monday, and two of his outs were line drives. He also made a superb catch in right-center on the first batter of the bottom of the ninth inning, Teoscar Hernandez.
“I’d like to always think I have a chance on a ball in the gap,” Straw said. “Those are always fun plays for an outfielder, especially with the speed this team has.”
Bryan Shaw pitched around a walk to complete the inning, setting up Cleveland’s three-run 10th. The decisive rally was capped by Jose Ramirez’s two-run homer, his 23rd long ball of the season and the 150th of his career.
In three games with Cleveland, Straw is 4-for-13 (.308) with one homer and one stolen base. He batted leadoff on Monday, which he likes.
“I’ve done it, usually, my whole life, growing up and a lot through the minor leagues,” Straw said. “I’m a fan of it. I approach it the same way. I was hitting eighth and ninth a lot in Houston. You just have to take the at-bats the same, whether you’re hitting first, fourth, ninth or pinch-hitting.”
Right-hander Zach Plesac (6-3, 4.26 ERA) will start Tuesday, the second game of the four-game series. It will be his first career outing against Toronto.
Blue Jays left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (10-5, 3.26 ERA) will start for the first time in Toronto since being signed as a free agent before the 2020 season.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Blue Jays to play home games at Buffalo and Dunedin, Fla., during 2020-21 until Friday. The Blue Jays are 3-1 since their return to the Rogers Centre.
Ryu earned a win at Cleveland on May 28, giving up two runs and four hits over five innings. In two career starts against Cleveland, he is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA.
Straw is 2-for-3 in his career against Ryu.
Toronto had a four-game winning streak end Monday despite the 34th homer of the season by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., a two-run blast in the sixth against Eli Morgan that tied the game 2-2.
The Blue Jays continue to have problems late in games. They are 2-6 in extra-inning games, and their offense drops off dramatically as games progress. Toronto has an .864 OPS through the first three innings of games, a .794 OPS from the fourth through sixth innings, a .685 OPS from the seventh through ninth innings and a .690 OPS in extra innings.
“That’s something we need to change,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We need to do better against the better relievers there at the end. We should, and we should be able to. I think we will.”
Cleveland activated first baseman Bobby Bradley from the bereavement list and recalled starting pitcher Morgan from Triple-A Columbus on Monday. Bradley struck out a pinch hitter and Morgan allowed two runs while fanning nine in six innings.
Outfielder Daniel Johnson and infielder Yu Chang were optioned to Columbus.
Toronto outfielder Corey Dickerson (left foot contusion) could be reinstated from the injured list on Tuesday.
–Field Level Media