He does not come up big very often, but when he does it always seems to be centre stage, in game-changing situations. The legend of Munenori Kawasaki continued on Wednesday at Progressive Field in a 5-4 Blue Jays win that evened the series at a game apiece.

Facing Indians reliever Joe Smith with the bases loaded, the diminutive second baseman slashed a single over shortstop that scored two runs, plus the hustling Emilio Bonifacio who capitalized on the miscue and came all the way around from first base on the error by centre fielder Michael Bourn.

“I knew (I could score) when he dropped that ball, I was around shortstop so I just kind of looked at Luis (Rivera) and he sent me,” Bonifacio said of his dash to cash the winning run. “I was running hard, too, because I want to make third. We were up by two and the third run was going to be important. Nobody expected I was going to score in that situation.”

For a long time it seemed the Jays might go oh-for-Ohio in runs scored. They were shut out 15 straight innings as the much-maligned, struggling Bonifacio, playing left field, turned on Justin Masterson’s 120th pitch of the night, driving a two-run single to right field with the bases loaded for a 2-1 lead.