Barfield Homers in 9th, Blue Jays Win 7th Straight -out home run in the ninth inning yesterday as the Toronto Blue Jays matched a team record with their seventh straight victory, a 6-5 decision over the Indians in Cleveland.
Barfield, hitless in his previous four at bats, fouled off seven pitches before lining a 2-2 fast ball from reliever Keith Creel (0-3) over the left field fence for his 10th homer. Barfield's hitting streak is the longest in the American League this season.
"I was thinking home run, but Creel was thinking strikeout," said Barfield. "I just wanted to get this game over with, but it seemed like I was at bat for an hour. I finally got what I was looking for."
"I thought I had Barfield struck out on the seventh pitch," Creel said. "But the ump (Dale Ford) called it a ball. I beefed, and so did (catcher) Butch Benton and (Manager) Pat Corrales, but what's the use?"
Gary Lavelle (2-0) got the victory by getting the final two outs in the eighth inning. Bill Caudill got the final two outs in the ninth for his ninth save.
"Gary pitched well, but I just wanted to make sure of things," said Toronto Manager Bobby Cox. "Bill's paid to pitch in tight games, so I wanted him in there to nail down the win."
The seven straight victories tied a team record set in May 1984 and accomplished again this season. Toronto's 28-14 record is the best in baseball.
The Indians, losers of five straight, trailed, 5-2, after 5 1/2 innings, but George Vukovich hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth and then singled to set up the tying run against Toronto reliever Dennis Lamp in the eighth.
Vukovich beat out an infield single with two out in the eighth, and pinch runner Otis Nixon then stole second before Joe Carter blooped a single to left to tie the game 5-5.