Toronto, ON – The expectations for the Toronto Blue Jays are sky high, but the Cleveland Indians were busy during the offseason too.
And one of those acquisitions came through with a moonshot in extra innings.
Mark Reynolds smacked a go-ahead solo home run in the 11th inning to lift the Indians to a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays in the middle test of a three-game set.
Sergio Santos (0-1) got ahead in the count 1-2, but Reynolds jumped on a shoulder-high fastball and deposited it into the third deck of left-center field.
Michael Brantley went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored for the Tribe, who are 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
Joe Smith fired a 1-2-3 bottom half to notch the first save of his career, while Matt Albers (1-0) recorded the final out of the 10th to pick up the win.
Starter Ubaldo Jimenez set career worsts for losses and ERA a year ago after going 9-17 with a 5.40 ERA, but surrendered just a run on three hits and two walks over six solid frames. He fanned six.
I thought he was outstanding His secondary stuff, his direction to the plate, down
Jose Bautista sent the game into extras for Toronto after he lined a fastball over the wall in left off Chris Perez in the ninth.
"I was trying to run that in on his feet ... got too much of the plate and he got a good swing on it," Perez said.
The revamped Blue Jays lineup tallied just five hits.
"There's 160 more, we still feel good about our chances," Santos said.
Cleveland struck first with a run in the third after Michael Bourn led off the inning with a double and scored on Brantley's single four batters later through the hole on the left side.
The Jays, though, got the run back in the bottom half when Maicer Izturis, filling in for injured third baseman Brett Lawrie, cracked a solo shot to right.
Another run wasn't pushed across until Cleveland struck again in the eighth. A Nick Swisher walk and Brantley base hit off Darren Oliver put runners on first and second with none away.
Carlos Santana then grounded one to Izturis at third base and he stepped on third for one out, but one hopped his throw to first and Brantley scored to make it 2-1.
Cleveland was 24-12 in one-run games a year ago ... With a series sweep Thursday, the Tribe can start 3-0 for the first time since 1998 ... Cleveland was 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base ... Toronto starter Brandon Morrow allowed a run on six hits and a walk over six frames.