Carlos Villanueva has career-high 8 strikeouts, Blue Jays shut out Indians 3-0 - InfoNews

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Carlos Villanueva has career-high 8 strikeouts, Blue Jays shut out Indians 3-0

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Carlos Villanueva pitches against the Cleveland Indians during first inning MLB action in Toronto Sunday, July 15, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
July 15, 2012 - 3:59 PM

TORONTO - Carlos Villanueva threw a career-high eight strikeouts as the Toronto Blue Jays shut out the Cleveland Indians 3-0 on Sunday.

Villanueva pitched three-hit ball through six innings before relievers Jason Frasor and Darren Oliver took over and stifled the Indians' offence by allowing just two hits the rest of the way. Oliver registered his first save of the season.

The 29-year-old starter showed some sting in two-out situations — Villanueva (4-0) ended four innings with a strikeout and moved to 506 in his career.

The win was a much needed boost of confidence for Toronto's bullpen, which nearly blew an eight-run lead by giving up five runs in the eighth inning of the Jays' 11-9 win Saturday.

One day after Blue Jays bats put on a clinic with 13 hits, RBI singles by J.P. Arencibia and Colby Rasmus as well as a walked-in run was all the offence Toronto (45-44) needed.

Derek Lowe (8-7) also went six innings for Cleveland (45-43) but allowed all three runs in the third and had just five strikeouts to match his four walks.

Toronto took a 3-0 lead in the third inning. Kelly Johnson walked to first, then stole second and third after Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana's relay missed the mark. That paid off for the Jays when Arencibia singled to drive in Johnson, and Rasmus made it 2-0 with a hard single to centre that scored Arencibia.

After Jose Bautista singled, Lowe walked Edwin Encarnacion to load the bases then walked Adam Lind on a 3-0 count to let Rasmus score a third run on a stroll to home plate. Lowe ended the inning without further damage when he struck out Yunel Escobar swinging.

On the mound and pitching on 10 days rest, Villanueva steadied himself after a shaky first inning to keep the Indians scoreless. His day was highlighted in the third inning by cooly snagging a hard comebacker from Jason Kipnis for the third out.

Notes: Attendance at Rogers Centre was 26,407. ... Left-fielder Ben Francisco replaced Rajai Davis in the starting lineup. Davis is 0-for-21 at the plate since July 5 against Kansas City. ... Henderson Alvarez (5-7, 4.36 earned-run average) gets the start Monday for the Blue Jays as they open a three-game series on the road against the New York Yankees, who counter with Phil Hughes (9-7, 4.33 ERA). ... Injured RHP Sergio Santos needs shoulder surgery that will shut him down for the season. The Blue Jays hope to have him back for spring training.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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