TORONTO — Ryan Goins can barely remember the biggest moment of his career.
Goins hit a two-run home run in the 10th inning to lift the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.
“It’s unbelievable. Can’t even put it into words. Best feeling of my career so far,” said Goins. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say I blacked out. I don’t even know what happened, honestly.
“It was an unbelievable feeling.”
Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI sacrifice fly in the first inning for Toronto (75-57), but was held hitless for the rest of the game to end his 26-game hitting streak.
Encarnacion’s streak was the second longest in Blue Jays history, behind Shawn Green’s 28-game roll in 1999.
Marco Estrada (11-8) pitched seven innings, striking out two but only allowing five hits. He was relieved by Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna, Brett Cecil and Mark Lowe.
Osuna blew a save opportunity in the ninth inning, letting Cleveland tie the game 3-3. Lowe was the pitcher of record when Goins hit his home run, earning the win after picking up one out in the top of the 10th inning.
Catcher Dioner Navarro led off the 10th inning with a single to right field. After Kevin Pillar flied out to centre field, Goins came to the plate.
Goins put a 1-0 breaking ball from Cleveland reliever Brian Shaw over the right-field wall and was mobbed by his teammates at home plate while the crowd loudly cheered. Goins had shaving cream rubbed in his face and Gatorade dumped on his head after the home run. He said in the clubhouse his throat was stinging from his jersey being ripped off by an over-enthusiastic teammate.
When asked by reporters what he was thinking during the at bat, Goins laughed and said “I’ll tell you what’s not on my mind, is a walk-off homer.”
Estrada was in the clubhouse getting post-game treatment on his throwing arm when he heard the celebratory horns and eruption of the crowd.
“It was incredible to see,” said Estrada, who caught the replay on TV. “I wish I would’ve seen it live but I was still doing my shoulder stuff.
“He had a heckuva day today. Obviously the last swing he took was incredible, but the defensive plays he made behind me helped me out a lot.”
Yan Gomes had a pair of home runs as Cleveland (64-67) had its six-game win streak snapped. Michael Brantley had a homer of his own in the fourth inning.
Cody Anderson (2-3) gave up two runs and three hits, with two strikeouts over six innings. Ryan Webb allowed a go-ahead run in the seventh and Jeff Manship retired three straight batters in the eighth. Shaw allowed Goins’s homer after an inning and a third of work.
Toronto got to Anderson in the first inning, as Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly to deep centre field gave Josh Donaldson enough time to run home from third base for a 1-0 lead.
Another sacrifice fly put the Blue Jays up 2-0. Jose Bautista’s popout to left field sent Goins home in the third inning.
Brantley put Cleveland on the board with a solo shot over the right-field wall in the fourth inning. It was Brantley’s 20th of the season.
Gomes tied it 2-2 for the Indians with a home run to right-centre field in the seventh inning.
Dalton Pompey, from Mississauga, Ont., gave Toronto a 3-2 lead with some smart base running in the seventh. First baseman Justin Smoak led the inning off with a walk and was replaced with Pompey as a pinch runner.
Pompey, who had been called up from triple-A Buffalo earlier Tuesday, stole second during the next at bat and stole third in the at bat after that. He then scored on Pillar’s sacrifice fly to centre field to a rousing ovation from the 41,356 in attendance.
“I thought it was great that I could help the team in some way today,” said Pompey. “Credit goes to KP. Driving the ball to the outfield, giving me a chance to score, because if he doesn’t do that then I’m still stuck at third base.”
Osuna came in for the save in the ninth and induced a groundout for the first out of the inning. But Gomes hit his second home run of the night to tie the game 3-3. Abraham Almonte followed that with a triple, but Osuna escaped without allowing any more runs, setting the stage for Goins’s extra-inning heroics.