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Rally falls short after Reid-Foley unravels in 5th

Rough outing overshadows 18 hits by offense, Grichuk's 2-homer game
MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- There are going to be some ups and downs during the early stages of Sean Reid-Foley's career. His outing vs. Cleveland definitely fell into the second category.

Reid-Foley started strong by limiting the Indians to one run through the first four innings, but his outing came undone in a seven-run fifth. The promising right-hander was charged with six runs on five hits and five walks over 4 2/3 innings in a 9-8 loss to Cleveland on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

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TORONTO -- There are going to be some ups and downs during the early stages of Sean Reid-Foley's career. His outing vs. Cleveland definitely fell into the second category.

Reid-Foley started strong by limiting the Indians to one run through the first four innings, but his outing came undone in a seven-run fifth. The promising right-hander was charged with six runs on five hits and five walks over 4 2/3 innings in a 9-8 loss to Cleveland on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

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The 23-year-old battled his own emotions and control problems on the mound as he threw just 59 of his 106 pitches for strikes. That ratio will have to improve, but at the same time, bouts of wildness should be expected from an emerging starter who has plenty of talent, yet remains far from a finished product.

Video: CLE@TOR: Reid-Foley fans Encarnacion to end 1st

"Just getting my feet wet, getting used to pitching in the big leagues up here," Reid-Foley said. "Getting acclimated, being around the guys, I think it'll be good. Obviously you want good results too, but if I had to trip on a couple of curbs and learn from it, I still have to keep my head up and just have fun. You're in the big leagues, it's great to be here."

The end of Reid-Foley's outing wasn't nearly as good as the start. The Florida native faced four batters over the minimum through four innings and then everything fell apart in the fifth when Cleveland applied some pressure. Roberto Perez led off the frame with a solo shot to left-center field, and three batters later Michael Brantley put his team in front for good with a two-run homer to right-center field.

Video: CLE@TOR: Brantley mashes a 2-run home run to right

The abrupt turn by the Cleveland offense made a noticeable impact on Reid-Foley's demeanor. He screamed into his glove when Brantley's ball left the park and then had a bit of difficulty getting his emotions under control. Reid-Foley went on to walk two more batters before manager John Gibbons made the call to the bullpen. Before the fifth inning was over, the Indians had taken an 8-3 lead and they managed to hang on the rest of the way for the win.

"He has a good arm," Gibbons said. "I think these last couple of games he's pitched, more so than the first two, he's starting to cut the ball loose a little bit more. What happens, especially to young kids, when they get into trouble, they try to reach back. In baseball, it's the opposite, you work better when you back down a little bit.

"He'll learn those things. He's got a very aggressive mentality, that's good, but sometimes it can work against you if you can't slow things down. But he's a 23-year-old kid, I think he's going to do all right."

Video: CLE@TOR: Grichuk launches a pair of solo homers

Reid-Foley's off game somewhat overshadowed a productive day for the Blue Jays' offense, which lost a game despite recording at least 18 hits for the first time since Sept. 22, 2007, at Yankee Stadium. Right fielder Randal Grichuk led the way with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate, which included a pair of solo home runs. First baseman Rowdy Tellez also chipped in with the first home run of his big league career while Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Kevin Pillar and Billy McKinney all finished with multiple hits. Cleveland starter Adam Plutko fell one out shy of picking up the victory after he was charged with five runs over 4 2/3 innings.

Toronto put the potential tying run on second base in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Cleveland closer Cody Allen escaped the jam to secure his 26th save of the season. With the loss, Toronto dropped to 4-5 over its last nine games and 3-2 vs. Cleveland this season. The Blue Jays will need a victory in the series finale on Sunday afternoon to secure its first season series win vs. the Indians since 2015.

"I threw in some good breaking balls, behind in the count," Reid-Foley said. "Some of the bad things I did, I took some pitches off, some hitters off. Brantley hurt me. Perez's first-pitch homer hurt me. I didn't have a lot of conviction behind that fastball I threw on the first pitch. That's a good team over there. ... It's a good lineup, and I just fell off a little bit."

Video: CLE@TOR: Diaz tallies four hits against the Indians

TELLEZ TIME
Tellez's unforgettable first week in the Major Leagues continued when he hit a solo homer to left-center field in the bottom of the fifth. The first home run of his career also marked his seventh extra-base hit in four games, which is the most by any player in their first four games since 1913. Tellez surpassed the previous high of six, which was set by Trevor Story (2012), Will Middlebrooks ('12) and Chris Dickerson ('08).

Video: CLE@TOR: Tellez crushes his first MLB homer to center

The 23-year-old Tellez also became just the fourth hitter of the live-ball era (since 1920) to have each of his first seven hits go for extra bases. The others were Aaron Altherr (2015), Carlos Gonzalez ('08) and Johnny Mize ('36). Tellez's extra-base streak eventually came to an end in the eighth inning when he hit a one-out single to center. Toronto's No. 29 prospect finished his day 2-for-4 and is now 8-for-14 in four games since being called up from Triple-A Buffalo earlier in the week. The eight hits by Tellez are the most by a Blue Jays hitter through the first four games of their career. Travis Snider, Aaron Hill, Lloyd Moseby and Danny Ainge had seven hits through the first four games of their career.

"I don't know if it has," Tellez said when asked if all of the early accolades had sunk in yet. "I don't know if it's just another game every day. But it has been pretty amazing to be here, have my family with me and to go along with this journey with the organization I came up with."

SOUND SMART
McKinney went 2-for-4 to extend his on-base streak to 17 games since joining the Blue Jays in a deal for J.A. Happ prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The 24-year-old currently owns the third-longest such streak to begin a Blue Jays career. Dave Martinez had a 24-game on-base streak in 2000 and Roy Howell had an 18-game streak in '77.

UP NEXT
Left-hander Thomas Pannone (1-1, 4.58 ERA) will take the mound when the Blue Jays close out their four-game series against the Indians on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre with first pitch scheduled for 1:07 ET. This start originally belonged to right-hander Marcus Stroman, but he was scratched earlier in the week because of a blister on his right middle finger. Cleveland is set to counter with right-hander Mike Clevinger (11-7, 3.11).

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Randal Grichuk, Sean Reid-Foley, Rowdy Tellez