CLEVELAND (AP) - Three days after hitting their low point of the season, the Toronto Blue Jays are flying high going into the All-Star break.
Jose Bautista's two-run double and six strong innings from Brett Cecil led Toronto to a 7-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. The Blue Jays took the last three games of the series after suffering a crushing 5-4 defeat in the opener on Thursday in which they couldn't hold a four-run lead and lost on Travis Hafner's walkoff grand slam.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell isn't surprised his team rebounded from a loss that would have sent many clubs into a prolonged tailspin.
``We do bounce back,' he said. ``We have the ability to put behind us what the previous day was, whether it was positive or negative. It speaks to the resiliency of this team and the attitude they carry on to the field.'
The Blue Jays received further good news when left-hander Ricky Romero, who is 7-8 with a 3.09 ERA, was added to the American League All-Star team for Tuesday's game in Phoenix. He will join Bautista, who received a record number of fan votes to start in the game, and Farrell, who will be on manager Ron Washington's coaching staff.
The Blue Jays, who had 48 hits in the series, outslugged the Indians for an 11-7 win Friday. Bautista's 10th-inning home run gave Toronto a 5-4 victory Saturday and a five-run third inning, highlighted by rookie Eric Thames' two-run homer, sparked Sunday's win.
``We played very well this series with the exception of game one and what took place late,' Farrell said.
Cecil (2-4) gave up one unearned run over six innings for his first win in three starts since being recalled from the minors June 30. The left-hander allowed six hits and walked three. He struck out six and stranded nine runners overall.
Cecil threw his first career complete game in Boston on Tuesday, but got the loss despite allowing only three runs.
``I have my confidence back,' he said. ``I've had two good starts in a row against two really good teams.'
Cecil loaded the bases with one out in the first by walking Michael Brantley and Travis Hafner and giving up Carlos Santana's single. However, the left-hander retired Grady Sizemore on a weak popup to third and got Austin Kearns to ground out.
``Sometimes you have to dig deep and make pitches,' Cecil said.
Toronto moved within two games of .500 and have Bautista going to the All-Star Game as baseball's home run leader with 31 - along with 65 RBIs and a .334 average. Toronto's slugger also is the first player to lead the majors in home runs at the break in back-to-back seasons since Mark McGwire in 1997-98.
Thames followed a third-inning single by Yunel Escobar with his fourth homer for a 2-0 lead off Carlos Carrasco (8-6).
``I was sitting fastball because he has a pretty good one,' Thames said. ``He threw me a hanging changeup and I just reacted to it. I hit it over the fence so that was great.'
Bautista singled to right and got to third on a pair of groundouts before Carrasco walked Travis Snider and gave up an RBI single to J.P. Arencibia that made it 3-0. After a wild pitch, Corey Patterson's ground-rule double made it 5-0.
Bautista's two-run double off Rafael Perez made it 7-0 in the sixth.
Notes: LHP Luis Perez struck out Hafner on four pitches in seventh. On Thursday, Hafner hit the first pitch from the rookie for a walkoff grand slam. ... Farrell is encouraged by the progress of two pitchers on the disabled list. RHP Casey Janssen, out since June 15 with a strained right forearm, worked a scoreless inning at Double-A New Hampshire, hit 92 mph on the radar gun, and is scheduled for another rehab outing Monday. Jesse Litsch, out since May 20 with a sore shoulder, yielded 12 hits over four innings at Triple-A Las Vegas. Farrell said Litsch is ``physically fine' and will start again Friday.
The Associated Press News Service
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