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Jays look for season opening road sweep of Indians in finale

The Sports Network
4/8/2012 10:59:24 AM
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(Sports Network) - The Toronto Blue Jays will aim for a season opening sweep of the Cleveland Indians today at Progressive Field.

Toronto will send righty Joel Carreno, who will be making his first major league start after winning a spot in the Jays' rotation this spring, to the mound. Carreno got his first taste of big league action last season when he pitched to a 1.15 ERA over 11 appearances, spanning 15 2/3 innings.

"I have to do a good job for them," Carreno said about his opportunity. "I don't [want] to make them think, 'He has to go back to the Minor Leagues.' So I have to do the best I can do here."

Carreno will be trying to keep the Jays perfect on the season after back-to- back extra-inning wins to open the year. After the longest Opening Day game in history on Thursday, the Jays again needed more than nine innings to pull out a 7-4 win on Saturday.

Edwin Encarnacion led off the 12th with a double off the wall in left off Tony Sipp (0-1) and Brett Lawrie followed with a single. Davis then doubled home both runners and Colby Rasmus and Kelly Johnson each added an RBI single later in the inning for a 7-3 lead.

Francisco Cordero gave up a one-out, RBI single to Travis Hafner in the bottom of the 12th, but Lawrie made a diving stop at third on a hard hit ball by Shelley Duncan to get a force out at second and Casey Kotchman grounded out to second to end the game.

Johnson hit a solo home run and Lawrie went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored for the Blue Jays, who got seven innings out of starter Brandon Morrow that saw him give up three walks and two unearned runs on one hit. Casey Janssen (1-0) got the win for pitching two perfect innings.

Jason Kipnis hit a two-run home run and Asdrubal Cabrera added a solo shot for the Indians. Ubaldo Jimenez carried a perfect game into the sixth and a no- hitter into the seventh, but didn't factor in the decision as he gave up two runs on one hit with three strikeouts over seven innings.

Toronto hasn't been 3-0 since 1996, while the Indians haven't opened a year with a three straight losses since losing five in a row to start the 2009 campaign.

Derek Lowe was acquired from Atlanta this past winter in an effort to inject some experience and durability into the Indians' rotation. He's coming off one of his worst seasons in the majors, though, as he was just 9-17 a year ago for the Braves to go along with a 5.05 ERA. He got worse as the season wore on and was a miserable 0-5 with an 8.75 ERA in September.

"Let's be honest, if I went 17-9 (instead of 9-17), I'd still be there," Lowe told the team's website. "I think it was the combination of the six weeks I had (down the stretch) and they have five guys ready for the big leagues."

The 38-year-old right-hander is no stranger to the Blue Jays, having faced them 41 times (10 starts) and is 6-9 with a 4.69 ERA against them.

Toronto has now beaten the Tribe five straight times.

Jose Bautista (Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images)


(Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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