Lawrie, Jays beat Tribe in 12

Toronto Blue Jays Edwin Encarnacion (left) and Brett Lawrie run back to the dugout after scoring...

Toronto Blue Jays Edwin Encarnacion (left) and Brett Lawrie run back to the dugout after scoring off a Rajai Davis single during the 12th inning of their 7-4 win over the Indians in Cleveland Saturday. (REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk)

Mike Rutsey, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:06 PM ET

CLEVELAND - Brett Lawrie came with a rush like he always does.

Racing from first base in the 12th inning of Saturday’s game, the Jays’ perpetually revved up third baseman came sliding across the plate with the second of two runs thanks to Rajai Davis’ clutch double.

Upon crossing the plate in a cloud of dust and a hearty ‘Hi Ho Silver,’ Lawrie hopped to his feet and charged the dugout like Bo Jackson used to hit the line in his prime. High-fiving his way through his teammates, Lawrie was waving his arms and screaming in exultation as the Jays poked ahead by a couple of runs.

“I get out of the way. He’s on a dead sprint into the bat rack,” manager John Farrell said of Lawrie’s charge. “You stand clear.”

The Jays would go on to score four runs in the 12th to earn a 7-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians but not before Lawrie, in the bottom of the frame, made a diving stop of a hot grounder to his left and threw to second for the force and the second out of the inning. It put the brakes on what was shaping up as a big comeback attempt by the hosts.

“You look at the diving play in the 12th, it might go down as a 5-4 force out but in that situation it’s another run on the board and they’re looking at first and second with just one out,” Farrell said of Lawrie’s defensive play.

It was a typical game for the kid with the boundless energy as the Jays went 2-for-2 in extra innings games this season.

Earlier, in the seventh, Lawrie collected his first hit of the season and naturally it was a biggie. Up to then the Jays had been no-hit by Ubaldo Jimenez but with runners on second and third and one out, he drove a pitch to right to score both runs and tie the game 2-2.

Big hit, big runs, big slide, big defensive play — that’s baseball the Lawrie way.

“It’s late in those games and people don’t understand how big of a grind those games are. We had 16 innings the night before that and you go into 12 innings and you want to win those games,” Lawrie said when asked about how amped he was heading to the dugout. “You go all that way and use all your bullpen and you come out firing on all cylinders, you want to win those games.

“I’m sure they’re hurting over there (Cleveland clubhouse) right now after putting all that effort in and you end up losing. I’m glad that we came out on top and I’m proud of our guys.”

When told of his manager’s comments about getting out of his way in the dugout, Lawrie grinned.

“Oh man, I don’t know, I was pumped up,” he said. “It was a big point in the game and we got a chance to get ahead there by a few runs. It was just a good time to get the boys fired up and it was a lot of fun.”

In the visitor’s clubhouse the mild mannered Davis, who atoned for his not-runnning-out-a-bunt gaffe in the opener with his two-run double in the 12th, has a locker beside Lawrie and a front row seat.

“Wow, that’s a lot more RBIs for the boys hitting behind him,” he said of Lawrie turning on the after jets on the base path. “It’s exciting just to have Brett Lawrie. He’s my roommate next door (locker).

“He’s got a lot of energy and I think it rubs off on the guys.”

It’s one thing to play 28 innings in two games, it’s another if you happen to win both, or lose both.

“It’s definitely a grind,” Lawrie said of Saturday’s back-and-forth affair and the 16-inning marathon on Thursday. “You go through the whole game and all of a sudden we come back and, we extend ourselves into extra innings and it’s a dog fight and I’m just glad we worked real hard and we came out on top both times.”

Dog fight, that’s how Lawrie approaches every game.

He’s one dog who never backs down from a fight.


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