Indians rally in ninth off Scott Downs for 2-1 win against Blue Jays

TORONTO - Brett Cecil kept getting himself into jams and kept finding a way out of them, but there was no escape from trouble for closer Scott Downs in the ninth.

TORONTO - Brett Cecil kept getting himself into jams and kept finding a way out of them, but there was no escape from trouble for closer Scott Downs in the ninth.

Victor Martinez ripped a two-run double to cap a rally fuelled by Lyle Overbay's throwing error as the Cleveland Indians capitalized on their last of many chances for a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

Down 1-0, pinch-hitter Ryan Garko opened the ninth against Downs with an infield single. Grady Sizemore followed with a sacrifice bunt fielded by Overbay at first base, and he tried to get the force at second but instead threw the ball into centre to put men at second and third.

Asdrubal Cabrera was walked to load the bases and after Shin-soo Choo hit into a fielder's choice that led to an out at home, Martinez lofted a soft liner into the left-field corner to bring two runs home.

Downs (1-1) avoided further damage but the Blue Jays (46-48) could not recover against Cliff Lee (6-9) in the bottom of the frame, bowing out meekly as they failed to win three straight for the first time in a month, and return to .500 for the first time since July 8.

The late rally rewarded Lee, the defending AL Cy Young Award winner who is generating lots of interest ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline but isn't as openly available as Roy Halladay.

He allowed just seven hits in his third complete game this season, the only major mistake a Scott Rolen solo blast in the seventh, as the Indians (37-57) ended a three-game losing skid before a crowd of 18,330.

Until the ninth, Cecil was on track to win a second straight start. He threw seven scoreless innings, striking out a career-high nine batters while allowing seven hits and four walks.

Rolen's blast came after the Indians nearly took the lead in the top of the seventh. Choo's infield single with two down stopped Cecil's run of nine straight retired batters and Martinez followed with a double, sliding in safely around Aaron Hill's tag after Jose Bautista's strong throw from left easily beat him.

But Travis Hafner grounded out to second to keep the game 0-0.

Cecil's strong finish followed his first four messy innings, and against a better team he would likely not have escaped them unscathed.

Cabrera was stranded at third after a one-out triple in the first, the Indians wasted runners on the corners with one out in the second, came up empty with the bases loaded and two out in the third and watched Choo hit into an inning-ending double play with the sacks juiced in the fourth.

The Blue Jays were similarly wasteful, although on a smaller scale.

Kevin Millar opened the third with a double and Hill did the same in the fourth, only to watch their teammates follow with three straight outs.

Notes: General manager J.P. Ricciardi turned up the posturing in the Halladay trade talks, setting up a loose deadline of July 28 to complete a deal for the ace right-hander and adding that a deal was unlikely. The comments were seemingly made to get potential suitors to ante up for Halladay. ... Blue Jays DH Adam Lind was given the day off. ... Scott Richmond (shoulder) of North Vancouver made his first rehab start Monday and gave up three runs on nine hits in 3 1-3 innings for the Gulf Coast Blue Jays. ... The Blue Jays last won three straight June 21-24.

 
 
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