CLEVELAND -- During his Major League career, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle has either been really good or really bad against the Cleveland Indians.
And on Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field, Buehrle was really good, as the 15-year veteran allowed just four hits and three walks in seven innings of work, which helped the Blue Jays claim a 5-0 win, their second straight over the Tribe in Cleveland.
"It's not just today. It's been his first four starts, and probably, for the majority of his career," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Buehrle. "He gets a lead and he kind of puts you in a rocking chair, has a little fastball and cuts it in to keep you honest.
"(He) expands the plate, takes a lot off of it, throws a lot of changeups. You hit a ball hard to somebody and we'll get a guy on and he'll get you to roll over. He's really good at that, and he's obviously feeling pretty good about himself right now. He's throwing the ball really well."
Buehrle is now 4-0 with a miniscule 0.64 earned run average and is the first American League pitcher to reach four wins this year. He is the first Toronto pitcher to start a season 4-0 since Roy Halladay achieved the same feat in the 2007 season.
While Buehrle was able to keep the Indians from scoring, the Blue Jays gave him a two-run lead before he took the mound in the bottom of the first inning.
With one out in the first, left fielder Melky Cabrera reached base on a triple that Indians right fielder David Murphy mistimed on the warning track. Then, right fielder Jose Bautista lifted a pop fly to second base that Cleveland first baseman Nick Swisher could not track down with his back to home plate. Swisher had to attempt to catch the ball because the Indians had implemented a defensive shift.
Then, with two out, Swisher could not handle a sharply-hit ball down the first base line from catcher Dioner Navarro, and that allowed Bautista to score.
"The pop up, we've got a shift on, so Swish is the only one that had a chance, and he was going about as fast as he could," Francona said. "That was a tough play. It would've been a good play, and when you're not scoring a bunch of runs, you probably need those plays to be made. The next ball almost tore his head off. It would certainly have helped us win, but those were difficult plays."
Indians starter Corey Kluber settled in after giving up a third run in the second inning, but gave up two more in the top of the seven before Francona made a call to the bullpen.
"You still have to make your pitches, and they hit it where somebody's not," Kluber said. "You've just got to try and put that aside and go about it with the next hitter. Whether you get him out or they get on, you've got to attack them the same way.
"For the most part, I did a good job of settling down and holding them down. Those last few hitters, I just didn't execute pitches very well."