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Indians Continue Series Against Blue Jays, Look For Third Straight Win

(Sports Network) - Two .500 pitchers take the mound tonight when the streaking Cleveland Indians host the slowly sliding Toronto Blue Jays in the second portion of a four-game series at Progressive Field.

Cleveland, which is last in the American League Central Division, took Monday's opener, 2-1, behind Jake Westbrook's six-plus strong innings and Jayson Nix's go-ahead suicide squeeze.

Westbrook (5-4) surrendered six hits and a run with one walk and four strikeouts to pick up the win. Austin Kearns provided an RBI single in the game's first frame for Cleveland, which won its second straight game on the heels of a seven-game skid.

A combination of Joe SmithRafael PerezChris Perez and Kerry Wood held the one-run margin up over the final three innings. Wood earned his seventh save in the process.

Toronto's Ricky Romero (6-4) received the hard-luck loss despite giving up only two runs on seven hits in seven innings. He walked three and fanned two.

Jose Bautista had two hits and doubled in the lone run for Toronto, which has six losses in its last eight games to slide seven games off the pace in the AL East.

Hard-throwing right-hander Fausto Carmona gets the call tonight for the Indians with a chance to protect an unblemished career mark against the Blue Jays.

The 26-year-old is 2-0 in four lifetime starts against Toronto after picking up a no-decision in a May 5 start in Cleveland. He allowed seven hits and two runs in a game the Indians eventually lost, 5-4.

The Dominican import has gone 3-5 in nine starts since, including a 12-3 loss at Philadelphia in his most-recent outing. He lasted just four innings that day and surrendered seven runs.

Carmona is 2-3 in seven home starts in 2010.

Toronto counters with righty Brandon Morrow, who hopes to build off a strong effort his last time out.

The 25-year-old Californian tossed eight scoreless innings while striking out eight and allowing just five hits in a 5-0 defeat of St. Louis on June 24.

It was his first win since May 31, when he surrendered just three hits and a run in seven innings of a 3-2 triumph at Tampa Bay.

Morrow, a former closer, is 1-1 with a blown save in seven career meetings with the Indians, though his only start against them was in the May 5 matchup with Carmona. In that game, he allowed six hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings.

Toronto swept a three-game set from the Indians back in early May and have won six of its last eight in Cleveland.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.