TORONTO (AP) — On a night most Toronto Blue Jays will want to forget, Steve Tolleson had a moment to remember.
David Murphy had five hits and five RBIs, Lonnie Chisenhall had five hits and an RBI and the Cleveland Indians hammered Toronto 15-4 on Wednesday night.
Corey Kluber pitched seven innings to win consecutive starts for the first time this season, and Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes homered as the Indians set season-highs with 22 hits and 15 runs in winning for the sixth time in eight games.
With the Blue Jays pitching staff taking a beating, Tolleson came on to record the final out in the ninth inning, becoming the seventh position player in team history to take the mound.
“I wish the circumstances hadn’t even been that way to get that chance but anytime you have a chance to go out and try to get an out in a major league game, that’s a pretty special opportunity,” Tolleson said.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons turned to Tolleson after Gomes drilled a three-run homer off Neil Wagner. Tolleson faced two batters, giving up a double to Chisenhall before Mike Aviles popped out.
Tolleson, who has pitched twice before, took home a souvenir from his brief outing.
“(Mark) Buerhle made sure I got the ball,” Tolleson said. “(Jose) Reyes threw it in the stands but we retrieved it. It’s one of those unique opportunities that I’ll be thankful for when I’m old and gray one day.”
Kluber (4-3) allowed two runs and four hits, walked one and struck out nine. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.04 ERA in his past five starts, with 47 strikeouts over 34 1-3 innings.
“I’m more and more impressed with him each time he goes out there,” Murphy said. “He’s got the stuff to be an ace.”
It was the first time two Indians had five hits in a nine-inning game since Johnny Hodapp and Luke Sewell had five each against the Yankees on July 29, 1928.
The last time it happened in the majors was last Sept. 6 when Andy Dirks and Omar Infante had five hits each for Detroit against Kansas City.
Kluber retired the first 13 batters in order before giving up his first hit, a double by Adam Lind. One out later, Lind scored on Brett Lawrie’s double.
Bryan Shaw worked the eighth and Carlos Carrasco finished for the Indians.
Dustin McGowan (2-2) allowed four runs and nine hits in four-plus innings. He walked two and struck out three.
“All my pitches were fine tonight,” McGowan said. “I just got hit hard.”
McGowan is winless with an ERA of 9.19 in four home starts this season, but 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four road starts. He dropped to 0-3 with a 10.61 ERA in five career games against the Indians.
Toronto cut it to 4-2 on Jose Bautista’s RBI double in the sixth, but Edwin Encarnacion fouled out and Lind flied out to the wall in left.
Cleveland capped it with a six-run, 10-batter ninth. Michael Bourn hit an RBI triple and scored on a base hit by Jose Ramirez. Murphy hit a two-run double and Gomes ended a 12-pitch at bat by homering.
Brantley left in the fifth with a sore back. He was replaced by Nyjer Morgan, who lasted just half an inning before spraining his right knee. Ramirez replaced Morgan, going in at second base as Aviles moved to left.
Francona said he wasn’t sure whether Brantley or Morgan would be available Thursday. Morgan was wearing a brace to immobilize his leg after the game.
“We need to see how he shows up in the morning,” Francona said of Morgan.
NOTES: The Blue Jays placed C Dioner Navarro on the family medical emergency list and optioned RHP Chad Jenkins to Triple-A Buffalo. Toronto recalled C Erik Kratz and Wagner from Triple-A. … Indians RHP Danny Salazar (1-3) faces LHP J.A. Happ (1-1) in Thursday’s series finale.