Naquin hits game-ending inside-the-park HR, Indians top Jays
CLEVELAND (AP) Once his long drive caromed into no man's land, Tyler Naquin kept going. And going. And going.
Naquin sprinted around the bases, stumbled toward home plate and scored with a head-first dive.
Then he was mobbed by his Cleveland teammates - they all wanted to celebrate a game-winning inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning.
Even by walk-off standards, the Indians' 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night was a stunner.
''That was a pretty cool moment,'' Naquin said. ''I almost fell down there for a second. I wanted to just keep running.''
It was the first game-ending inside-the-park homer since Angel Pagan did it for San Francisco against Colorado in 2013, according to baseballreference.com.
Naquin's mad dash capped a two-run rally. Toronto took a 2-1 lead into the ninth in a matchup of AL division leaders.
Closer Roberto Osuna (2-2) retired the first batter, but Jose Ramirez tied it with a home run.
Naquin followed with a fly that hit the top of the right-field wall, above the leap of Michael Saunders. The ball bounced away at an angle and center fielder Melvin Upton Jr. gave chase as Naquin rounded second.
Upton finally retrieved the ball, but fell down as third base coach Mike Sarbaugh waved Naquin home. Upton flung it toward the infield, and Naquin reached the plate way ahead of second baseman Devon Travis' relay.
''I was just thinking after I hit it, I took a couple steps out of the box and just pictured it kicking off the wall,'' Naquin said. ''I thought, `I have a chance to score if it kicks far enough.' And sure enough, it did.''
On Thursday night, the rookie lofted a sacrifice fly as a pinch-hitter in the ninth to lift Cleveland over the White Sox.
''I'd actually like to win by five or 10 so we don't have to do that,'' Naquin said.
This was only the second time - and first since 1916 by Braggo Roth - the Indians ended a win with an inside-the-park home run, ESPN Stats and Info said.
Jeff Manship (2-1) pitched the ninth. Osuna blew his third save in 30 chances.
Trevor Bauer struck out a career-high 13 in eight innings.
Russell Martin hit a two-run homer in the first for Toronto.
The win increased Cleveland's lead in the AL Central over Detroit to seven games. Toronto's lead over Boston in the AL East was cut to a half-game.
The crowd of 30,665 featured several thousand Blue Jays fans who matched cheers and chants with Indians fans throughout the game.
''It was a heck of a game, both sides,'' Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. ''Good pitching, good crowd excitement, good baseball.''
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons obviously felt differently about the shocking ending.
''That was tough,'' he said. ''We were sitting pretty good. That went from feeling pretty good to feeling rotten pretty quick.''
Mike Napoli hit an RBI single in the sixth for Cleveland.
Toronto played without third baseman Josh Donaldson (jammed right thumb) and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (sore calf).
THE CHAMP IS HERE
Until the wild finish, the biggest cheer of the night went to LeBron James, who watched the game from a suite. James led the Cavaliers past Golden State in the NBA Finals, Cleveland's first championship in 52 years.
The Indians called up RHP Shawn Armstrong from Triple-A Columbus and optioned left-hander Kyle Crockett to the same club. The Blue Jays optioned outfielder Darrell Ceciliani to Triple-A Buffalo.
Blue Jays: Manager John Gibbons expects Donaldson and Tulowitzki to be available Saturday.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez will start for the first time since Aug. 13 as the team attempts to limit his innings.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin returns from the family medical emergency list. He flew home to Tyler, Texas, on Wednesday.