Meanwhile, Stroman was solid enough to earn his third win of the season, keeping the Indians off the board with six hits in six innings.
Trevor Bauer allowed a two-run blast to a hitter with 13 career home runs while the Indians left 18 runners on base and batted.083 (1-for-12) with runners in scoring position.
Perhaps no one was more grateful than Stroman (3-2), who shared a celebratory jump with Pillar as the Blue Jays left the field. Another defensive gem came courtesy of short stop Ryan Goins in the fifth when he just managed to keep his foot on the bag at second as he reached to catch a high throw from Stroman before firing off to first to finish off the inning-ending double ...
Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) makes a diving catch on Cleveland Indians' Jose Ramirez during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Monday, May 8, 2017. "One of the best catches I've ever seen him make". "It was hard because I was hopeful that the situation would have been different".
Already without regulars Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki, Toronto put catcher Russell Martin on the 10-day disabled list before the game because of nerve irritation in his left shoulder. The right-hander struck out one and induced three double-play grounders. "I didn't think the pitch to Goins - it was up-and-in - I didn't think it was that bad".
"I know the rule, but I've never seen an umpire call that without some sort of contact being made", Gibbons said.
The Indians made a game of it with a pair of runs in the eighth that featured a freakish rundown that saw second baseman Devon Travis charged with an error for interference and Gibbons to be ejected for the third time this season.
Lindor was awarded second base on the play and crew chief Tom Hallion tossed Gibbons for arguing.
With runners at second and third in the top of the eighth inning, Cleveland's Francisco Lindor singled to right field to score Roberto Perez.
Joe Smith escaped further damage by getting Jason Kipnis on a grounder and striking out Encarnacion and Ramirez. Monday's win was their third in the past four and six in nine. Roberto Osuna came on in the ninth to record his fifth save.
"I hope, in his mind, this is something to build off of because I thought he did a lot of good stuff", Francona said. They have scored three runs or fewer in seven consecutive games and in 17 games overall this season.
Indians: Cleveland recalled INF-OF Yandy Diaz from Triple-A Columbus and optioned RHP Shawn Armstrong to Triple-A. Diaz provides insurance while OF Michael Brantley recovers from a sprained right ankle sustained Sunday. The Blue Jays designated RHP Casey Lawrence for assignment to open a roster spot for Ohlman. Bolsinger was 1-1 in four games, including two starts for Class AAA Buffalo.
However, Encarnacion is showing a glimpse of snapping out of his usual early-season funk and will carry a three-game hit streak into Monday's opener of a three-game series, the 34-year-old slugger's first return to Rogers Centre since signing with Cleveland as a free agent in the off-season.
Blue Jays: RHP Mike Bolsinger will be promoted from Triple-A to start tonight.