CLEVELAND — Teoscar Hernandez thought for a moment Andrew Miller had struck him out. Then he struck back.
Hernandez made the most of his season debut — and a close call against Miller that went his way — by driving in the go-ahead run with a single in the seventh inning as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied for an 8-4 win over Cleveland, snapping the Indians’ five-game winning streak on Friday night.
Hernandez, who was recalled earlier in the day when the Blue Jays placed third baseman Josh Donaldson on the 10-day disabled list, added an RBI double in a three-run ninth.
With the score 4-4 and a runner on second in the seventh, Hernandez fell behind 0-2 in the count and took an outside pitch from Miller that looked like a strike. The left-hander began walking toward Cleveland’s dugout and Hernandez took a step toward Toronto’s, but plate umpire Gerry Davis called a ball and the left fielder made the most of another chance with his single to left.
Asked if he had struck out, Hernandez smiled.
“It was a good pitch,” he said, grinning. “The umpire missed it. I got another chance.”
Miller, too, thought he whiffed Hernandez.
“It doesn’t matter what I think,” the All-Star said. “I just gotta move on. That’s on me. I didn’t do a good job on that.”
Steve Pearce also doubled in a pair of runs in the ninth for Toronto, which trailed 4-0 after two innings but came back against Zach McAllister (0-2) and the normally unhittable Miller.
Aledmys Diaz’s three-run homer helped the Blue Jays come back from a 4-0 deficit in the fourth against starter Mike Clevinger, who was spotted an early lead and coasted through the first three innings before running into trouble in the fourth with a pair of walks.
“I just kind of lost it for a little bit,” Clevinger said, “and I lost it just enough to lose the game.”
Danny Barnes (1-0) pitched one inning, and three other relievers finished up for Toronto.
With starter Marcus Stroman in trouble from the outset, the Blue Jays looked like they were in for a long night before storming back.
Clevinger was in control before the fourth when Kevin Pillar cut Cleveland’s lead to 4-1 with a soft RBI single and Diaz tied it with a shot over the wall in centre for his second homer.
Despite a first-pitch temperature of 46 degrees following a high of 81, the Indians, who got a season-high 15 hits while completing a four-game sweep of Detroit on Thursday, stayed hot at the plate.
They scored twice in the first off Stroman and tacked on two more in the second on back-to-back run-scoring doubles by Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis.
Lindor’s shot scored Rajai Davis, who sustained a cut above his left eye while stealing second on a strange play.
As Davis slid headfirst into second, his helmet popped off and was struck by shortstop Diaz, who backhanded it into the face of Cleveland’s left fielder. Davis was momentarily dazed and his forehead quickly swelled, but he stayed in after being checked by a trainer and receiving a bandage.
“Yeah, he got a pretty good cut,” manager Terry Francona said. “Couldn’t figure it out, it wasn’t bleeding though. But it sliced open pretty good. I don’t know if they’ll butterfly it or stitch it, but he had a pretty good gash there.”
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Lindor went 3 for 4 and picked up his 100th career double. He’s raised his average from .184 to .241 in the past two games.
The Blue Jays have homered in all seven road games and they’ve now connected for 20 homers in 14 games.
Stroman was limited to two starts in spring training because of a sore shoulder, and the right-hander was tagged in his previous start.
“I’m kind of feeling for it right now, but I’m pretty close to where I need to be,” he said. “I’m not there yet but hopefully over these next few starts I’ll be back to where I was last year.”
Blue Jays: Donaldson went on the DL with inflammation in his right shoulder. He’s had an issue with his shoulder since opening day and the team wants him to rest before it worsens. The 2015 AL MVP is batting .239 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 12 games.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley was given the day off, even though he didn’t want one as the club continues a cautious approach following his off-season ankle surgery. Francona was pleased that Brantley didn’t want to sit. “He was fighting for it,” Francona said. “It was obviously a really good sign.”
Indians ace Corey Kluber struck out 14 Blue Jays the last time he faced them. The two-time Cy Young winner is coming off a 13-strikeout performance in his last start, when he allowed just two hits in eight innings against Detroit. Jaime Garcia starts for Toronto.