R.A. Dickey goes distance as Toronto Blue Jays dump Cleveland Indians

By Larry Millson, The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 3, 2015 at 12:18 AM
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TORONTO -- R.A. Dickey is a notoriously slow starter each season.

Even so, the right-handed knuckleballer was never as bad as the 3-10 record he had after taking the loss to the Chicago White Sox on July 9.

Since that defeat, neither Dickey nor the Toronto Blue Jays have looked back.

Dickey pitched his second complete game of the season Wednesday, Josh Donaldson had three hits and three RBIs, and the Blue Jays beat the Cleveland Indians 5-1.

"His record is a little bit deceiving the way he's pitched," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said, "but he's doing it now. We really needed it tonight, our bullpen, we had some guys down. He went nine innings, and at this time of the year, it doesn't happen often. I tip my cap to him."

Dickey (10-10) won his seventh consecutive decision, and the Blue Jays are 9-0 in his past nine starts.

"I'll tell you what's worked is that the (Toronto) bats have exploded when I've pitched," Dickey said. "That's always nice to pitch with the lead. It's such a gift to get to come and watch these guys play, it really is, to watch Donaldson, (right fielder Jose) Bautista, everybody is playing hard. "

Dickey allowed four hits, no walks and one run. He struck out six as the Blue Jays won the rubber match of the three-game series.

The Indians collected three of their hits against Dickey in the fourth inning. They did not have another runner until second baseman Jason Kipnis singled with one out in the ninth, his second hit of the game. However, Kipnis was erased when shortstop Francisco Lindor grounded into a game-ending double play.

"Dickey was so good," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He just threw a lot of strikes. First time through, you saw him show the fastball and then go to the knuckleball. Once he got it rolling, man, for a ball to move that much and for him to command it that well, it was really impressive."

Donaldson hit an RBI single in the first inning and a two-run double in the second. The third baseman also scored a run after tagging up on a popout to second base in the second inning.

"It's got to the point where nothing this guy does surprises you anymore," Dickey said. "He's a super hero. He's in a special place right now. He's got such a great game clock. You can't teach that. It's an intangible that some guys possess, and he's got it."

Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer (9-10) lasted just 1 1/3 innings. He allowed six hits, one walk and five runs and while striking out two.

"I threw really good pitches," Bauer said. "I think two or three of the hits were on balls outside of the strike zone, the other three or four were on balls on the edge of the strike zone.

"I threw a lot of quality pitches, and they hit one ball hard. Unfortunately, the other five that they didn't hit hard didn't go to someone."

The Indians (64-68) used seven pitchers in the game.

The Blue Jays (76-57) maintained their 1 1/2-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees in the American League with the win.

Blue Jays second baseman Ryan Goins, who won the Tuesday game with a two-run homer in the 10th, singled in the eighth inning Wednesday to extend his career-best hitting streak to 12 games.

The Blue Jays scored twice in the first inning. Left fielder Ben Revere led off with a single, stole second and scored on a single by Donaldson. Bautista walked, and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki singled to score Donaldson.

Toronto added three runs in the second. Catcher Josh Thole and Revere singled with one out and scored on a double to left by Donaldson.

Right-hander Jeff Manship replaced Bauer and walked Bautista and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion. Donaldson scored from third with a spectacular slide to avoid the tag to turn Tulowitzki's pop to Kipnis into a sacrifice fly and give Toronto a 5-0 lead.

"If the right fielder had caught the ball, I would have stayed," Donaldson said. "Kipnis has a pretty good arm, but he's moving back. I felt like his momentum was carrying him back, which makes it a little bit more difficult of play for him to throw home."

Dickey was perfect through three innings. Kipnis and Lindor led off the fourth with singles, left fielder Michael Brantley hit into a double play and designated hitter Carlos Santana delivered an RBI single.

NOTES: The Blue Jays recalled C Josh Thole from rookie-level Bluefield, where he was optioned last Friday, and he caught knuckleballer R.A. Dickey on Wednesday. Bluefield's season ended Tuesday. ... Indians manager Terry Francona said the team would recall two more players Friday. ... Both teams have Thursday off. ... The Indians will start RHP Corey Kluber (8-13, 3.41 ERA) in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Detroit. The Tigers had not announced a starter. ... The Jays will start RHP Drew Hutchison (13-2, 4.87) Friday in the opener of a three-game home series against the Baltimore Orioles, who will start RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (9-9, 4.34).

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