TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman tossed six scoreless innings and Ryan Goins hit a two-run homer as the Blue Jays spoiled Edwin Encarnacion's return to Rogers Centre with a 4-2 victory over the Indians on Monday night.
Stroman had multiple baserunners in four of his six innings but consistently pitched his way out of difficulty each time. The Blue Jays turned three double plays behind him and Kevin Pillar saved at least one run with a highlight-reel diving play in center field as Toronto picked up its third win over the last four games.
The 26-year-old Stroman showed no lingering effects from the right-arm tightness that limited his previous start vs. the Yankees to three innings. He scattered six hits and a pair of walks with one strikeout while throwing 58 of his 94 pitches for strikes. Toronto first baseman Justin Smoak chipped in with a two-run single while designated hitter Kendrys Morales reached base twice.
"I felt pretty good, just off a little bit on location," said Stroman, who picked up his first career victory over Cleveland. "I felt like we had a pretty good mix, and I felt like I battled from hitter to hitter."
Right-hander Trevor Bauer took the loss in his first game back at Rogers Centre since Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. He was charged with all four runs on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts and has now allowed at least four runs in all but one of his six starts this season.
Encarnacion was greeted by a standing ovation in his first at-bat in Toronto since joining Cleveland during the offseason on a three-year deal. He singled in the second inning and added another single in the fourth to finish his day 2-for-3 with a walk. Carlos Santana also had a two-hit night for the Indians at the top of their lineup.
"I wasn't expecting the reception that I got," Encarnacion said through team translator Anna Bolton. "But then, when they stood up, that huge group of fans that stood for me, they gained not only my respect, but also the respect of all the other players that were there and that saw it and heard it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Goins, Goins, Gone: Goins gave the Blue Jays an unexpected lift in the bottom of the second inning with a two-run shot to right field. According to Statcast™, Goins' third home run of the season was projected to travel 439 feet and left his bat at 103 mph with a launch angle of 28 degrees. Goins has never hit more than five homers in a season, but he currently has one more homer and two more RBIs than Jose Bautista. It was the seventh home run that Bauer has allowed in six starts this season.
"It was a fastball up and in," Goins said. "I put a good swing on it. Got the [two-seamer] 2-2. He made a mistake, I put a good swing on it, and hit it into the seats. … I was looking for something hard. He had been going in to our lefties. A lot of heaters in. Kind of looking there in the back of your mind. Threw it there and I put a good swing on it."
The Superman: Pillar earned himself the nickname "Superman" for a reason, and there he was in the top of the sixth inning making one of his trademark catches. With runners on the corners and two outs, Cleveland's Jose Ramirez hit a deep drive over the head of Pillar in center field. Pillar appeared to get a delayed break on the ball but quickly made up for lost time by tracking it down and then making a head-first diving grab at the warning track. According to Statcast™, Pillar needed to cover 64 feet and had an opportunity time of 4.6 seconds to make the catch.
"I told him that was pretty cool," Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor said. "It's one of the best plays I've seen in a long time -- probably ever. He's one of the best out there. They call him Superman for a reason. That was pretty cool." More >
"I've seen it so many times now I feel, especially when I'm on the mound. Give that guy a Gold Glove. I think he is the best defensive center fielder in the game and just glad that he's behind me each and every day." -- Stroman, on Pillar's catch in center
"The results are what they are, but if you just look at the quality of the pitches and where I'm locating compared to what the reports say, and all that stuff, I'm executing really well. Shoot, Goins hits a homer on a pitch he never hits. Smoak [broke his bat] and we happen to have the infield in. The ball doesn't even make it to the outfield grass and it's a two-run hit. I don't know what else I'm supposed to do." -- Bauer
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Bautista walked in the fifth inning, which ended a three-game streak in which he had not reached base. The last time Bautista went three consecutive games without reaching base was way back on April 9-11, 2012. He hasn't gone four games without reaching base since 2005.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was ejected during the top of the eighth inning following an argument with third-base umpire Tom Hallion. The incident occurred shortly after Devon Travis was called for obstruction during a rundown with Lindor. Cleveland had runners on second and third base when Lindor singled to right field. One run scored and Santana was initially held at second, but Lindor was trapped between first and second. Toronto started a rundown, but Travis hindered Lindor's progress after he released the ball, and the umpires granted him second base on the obstruction call. Santana scampered home during the rundown to make it a two-run inning, but Ramirez struck out with a man on third to end the threat.
"I've never seen an umpire call that without some kind of contact being made," Gibbons said. "He even told me, 'He didn't bump him, he just hindered his progress.' OK, that may be the rule, but I've been around awhile and I've never seen it without a little bit of contact. That was my argument."
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (3-2, 2.18 ERA) is scheduled to take the ball for the Tribe in a 7:07 p.m. ET tilt against Toronto on Tuesday at Rogers Centre. Carrasco has a 6.26 ERA in his career against the Blue Jays, but a 3.24 ERA in Toronto. Last year, the righty fanned 14 batters in a 7 1/3-inning effort north of the border.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Mike Bolsinger will make his first start of the season when the Blue Jays continue their three-game series vs. Cleveland on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre. Bolsinger will become the latest pitcher to audition for a spot in the rotation with J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez still on the 10-day disabled list. Bolsinger was 1-1 with a 1.46 ERA over 12 1/3 innings for Triple-A Buffalo.