Marte slam sparks rally, powers Tribe past Blue Jays

TORONTO (AP) -- Andy Marte had much better results swinging at the first pitch.

Marte's grand slam in the eighth inning snapped a tie and carried the Cleveland Indians to a 7-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

Marte popped up to second base after offering at the first pitch with the bases loaded on Monday. Cleveland was down 4-3 at the time.

Trailing 2-1 in the eighth on Tuesday, the Indians rallied with five runs off reliever Jeremy Accardo (1-1). Marte's first career bases-loaded homer was the Indians' team-record 13th slam of the season.

"I was looking for a fastball all the way," Marte said. "I was ready for it."

Marte said he wasn't hesitant to swing at the first pitch because it was a different pitcher. He faced B.J. Ryan on Monday.

Marte got the ball from what he said was his first grand slam at any level.

"It's a different day. He was up with the bases loaded yesterday and they got him," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "He took advantage of another great opportunity. He hit the ball as well as you could hit it."

Jeremy Sowers (7-3) pitched seven innings for the victory, allowing just two runs and five hits. He struck out three and walked none.

"He was competing against one of the best pitchers in baseball. I think it's even more special," Wedge said of the victory over Roy Halladay and Toronto.

The Indians may decide soon to shut down Sowers for the season. He's pitched a combined 180 2/3 innings this season in the majors and minors.

"We'll have to talk to everybody in Cleveland and go from there," Wedge said.

Sowers said he'll understand if the Indians end his season early, but he sounded like he wanted to keep pitching.

"It's very late in the season, but at the same time if I get good sleep and if I eat right I should be ready to go every five or six days," he said.

Bengie Molina homered for the Blue Jays, who had won three straight.

Halladay got a no-decision despite allowing just one run and five hits in seven innings. He struck out a season-high nine.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons replaced him to start the eighth because he had thrown 108 pitches. Toronto is cautious with Halladay, who hopes to complete his first full season in two years.

"That was my decision. He's been pitching a lot lately," Gibbons said.

Cleveland's Ryan Garko doubled to right off Accardo in the eighth. Gibbons argued that Garko was thrown out by Alex Rios, who
heaved the ball from the right-field corner on the fly to second base.

Garko advanced to third on Shin-Soo Choo's infield single and scored on Casey Blake's grounder to Accardo, whose throw to the plate was too late.

Accardo then walked Joe Inglett before Marte hit his second home run of the season.

"I probably won't get that much sleep," said Accardo, who felt bad about blowing a potential 17th win for Halladay.

Blake's RBI single in the fourth gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead.

Toronto's John McDonald singled in the sixth and scored on Rios' RBI triple to right.

Hector Luna's RBI single in the ninth off Davis Romero made it 7-2.

Game notes
Cleveland DH Travis Hafner didn't start for the fourth straight game because of a bruised right hand. Hafner was hit by a pitch Friday night and his status is day-to-day. ... McDonald, Toronto's shortstop, doffed his cap to the crowd after stumbling on a groundball in the seventh. McDonald made the throw for the out despite tripping and falling. The crowd gave him a loud cheer. ... A few fans chanted "Fire Gibbons! Fire Gibbons!" in the ninth. Gibbons has faced some heat after he scuffled with pitcher Ted Lilly last month. "You can't not hear it," Gibbons said, laughing it off.