CLEVELAND (AP) - Indians manager Manny Acta had a simple reason for Cleveland's 5-4 loss to Toronto on Saturday night: Jose Bautista.
The All-Star slugger led off the 10th inning with his second homer of the game, lifting the Blue Jays to the victory after the Indians tied it on Travis Buck's two-out double in the ninth.
``Bautista pretty much beat us,' Acta said. ``What he is doing is just ridiculous good right now. It is pretty impressive.'
Bautista, who leads the majors with 31 homers, connected on a 1-0 pitch from Chris Perez (3-2), belting a high drive over the 19-foot wall in left field. Bautista, who also went deep in the series opener, has four multihomer games this season and 15 in his career.
``I tried to make a pitch down,' said Perez, who also is headed to Arizona for Tuesday's All-Star game. ``When he first hit it, it sounded pretty good. It was pretty high, but I didn't know if he got enough of it. It just kept going and going, and it went out.'
Acta was asked if he considered pitching around Bautista.
``You can't do that,' he said. ``You can't put the go-ahead run on base with no out. Plus, that is my closer out there. If there is somebody that can go out there and face him and get him out, it is Chris Perez.'
The AL Central-leading Indians maintained their half-game lead over Detroit, which lost at Kansas City.
It was Toronto's second straight win in the series after a stunning loss on Thursday during which the Indians rallied for a 5-4 win on Travis Hafner's game-ending grand slam in the ninth.
Cleveland nearly pulled off another memorable comeback Saturday. Hafner started the ninth with a single and Carlos Santana followed with a grounder that glanced off reliever Jon Rauch's glove and rolled to first baseman Adam Lind. Rauch (3-3) raced to the bag and took the throw, which was barely in time to beat Santana's headfirst slide.
Pinch-runner Austin Kearns moved to second on the grounder and advanced again when Grady Sizemore tapped back to the mound. Buck then doubled off the wall in left-center on the 11th pitch of the at-bat. Matt LaPorta grounded out to end the inning, clearing the way for Bautista's second homer.
Shawn Camp pitched a perfect 10th for his first save.
Toronto starter Brandon Morrow allowed three runs and three hits over eight innings in his longest outing of the season. He struck out eight and walked two.
LaPorta's sacrifice fly in the second and Sizemore's two-run homer in the third accounted for Cleveland's early runs.
``We couldn't do much against Morrow until Grady's homer, and then we came back again in the ninth on a very good at-bat by Travis Buck and we ended up tying the ballgame,' Acta said.
Bautista lined a 1-0 pitch from Josh Tomlin into the bleachers in left with two outs in the third, giving Toronto a 2-1 lead. Bautista also became the first major leaguer to hit 30 homers before the All-Star break since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.
An error by Buck, the first of his career, helped the Blue Jays go in front 4-3 in the fifth. His errant throw after Lind's single to right allowed Eric Thames to score. Buck had played 192 games without committing an error.
NOTES: Indians RHP Justin Masterson came out of the bullpen and pitched a scoreless ninth. He made his final start before the break on Wednesday. ... Acta said OF Shin-Soo Choo has had the cast removed from his broken right thumb. The Indians expect Choo, who was injured on June 24, to return this season. ... Indians 3B Lonnie Chisenhall (nasal fracture) played catch Saturday. He was hit in the face with a pitch Thursday. ... Jose Molina doubled twice off Tomlin and is 4 for 5 against the right-hander in his career.
The Associated Press News Service
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