Indians' Hafner hits walkoff grand slamJul 8, 2011 - 3:35 AM
Toronto reliever Luis Perez (1-2) came into the game with the bases loaded but served up Hafner's towering shot to blow his second save and hand the Blue Jays a third straight loss.
The blast made Tony Sipp (4-1) a winner even after he gave up Jose Bautista's 29th homer run of the season in the ninth.
Bautista's home run, which tied a club first-half record with George Bell's 29 homers before the All-Star break, put Toronto up 4-0. With that lead, the game appeared to be in hand as the Indians struggled offensively throughout the game.
They had just six hits leading up to the final at-bat, however, they found something against Frank Francisco, who entered in the ninth for the Jays.
Travis Buck singled, Matt LaPorta doubled and Jack Hannahan walked to fill the bags and chase Francisco off the hill in favor of Perez. He struck out Michael Brantley for the first out but Asdrubal Cabrera delivered with an RBI single and the bases remained loaded.
Hafner then came up and ripped the first pitch he saw into the right field upper deck to end the game.
The game didn't have much offense to start off. In fact, all the Jays' runs previous to Bautista's homer came from the 7-8-9 hitters.
Aaron Hill drew a leadoff walk to start the second inning and then stole second. During the play, Carlos Santana's throw clipped off of Cabrera's glove and into the outfield to enable Hill to race to third. Travis Snider followed with a liner up the middle to bring Hill home.
Starter Zach McAllister, who made his major league debut for the Indians, had a rough fourth inning that yielded two runs, however, it could have been more.
Hill and Edwin Encarnacion each singled to start the frame while Snider grounded into a force out to put runners on the corners. That set the table for J.P. Arencibia's RBI single and Rajai Davis' infield single brought home Snider.
The Blue Jays loaded the bases with Yunel Escobar's walk, but the shaky McAllister buckled down to induce a Eric Thames fly out and a Bautista groundout to short that ended the possible big inning. The 23-year-old lasted just four innings and allowed three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and three walks.
Toronto starter Carlos Villanueva kept the Indians off the board for six innings. He also struck out seven, before the Jays' bullpen took over and failed to keep the lead in the ninth.
Hafner has 12 career grand slams and is one behind Manny Ramirez for most in Indians club history. Hafner's slam, his first since September 15, 2010 vs. Seattle, was the Indians' second of the season. Santana hit the other on April 29 vs. Detroit -- that was also a walk-off grand slam. Indians rookie Lonnie Chisenhall left the game in the bottom of the second inning after being hit in the head by a pitch from Villanueva. The club said he suffered a facial contusion. To make room for McAllister on the 25-man roster, the Indians optioned infielder Cord Phelps to Triple-A Columbus before the game.
- TORONTO: 4
Jul 7 10:36 PM
- Asdrubal Cabrera single to left scored Travis Buck with one out. On the play, Jack Hannahan advances to second and Matt LaPorta advances to third. Bases loaded with one out and Travis Hafner due up.
Blue Jays 4, Indians 1 Bot 9, 1 OutJul 7 10:34 PM
- Jose Bautista one-out, solo Home Run (29) to left. Adam Lind due up.
Blue Jays 4, Indians 0 Top 9, 1 OutJul 7 10:11 PM
- Yunel Escobar walked. Bases loaded with one out and Eric Thames due up.
Blue Jays 3, Indians 0 Top 4, 1 OutJul 7 8:27 PM
- J.P. Arencibia single to center scored Aaron Hill with one out. On the play, Travis Snider advances to second. Runners on first and second with one out and Rajai Davis due up.
Blue Jays 2, Indians 0 Top 4, 1 OutJul 7 8:24 PM
- Travis Snider single to center scored Aaron Hill with one out. Runner on first with one out and J.P. Arencibia due up.
Blue Jays 1, Indians 0 Top 2, 1 OutJul 7 7:43 PM
- TORONTO: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 7 7:07 PM
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