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Indians Beat Blue Jays, 3-1, Win Streak Reaches Four

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Aaron Laffey threw six-plus effective innings and was aided by home runs from Shin-Soo Choo and Matt LaPorta, as the Indians ran their winning streak to four with a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the third of four games at Progressive Field.

Laffey (1-2), making only his second start of the season, yielded one run, five hits and two walks while fanning five for the Indians, who matched their season-high in consecutive wins. Choo blasted his fifth homer in eight games, while LaPorta had his second in as many nights.

Carlos Santana, who has been red-hot offensively since being making his MLB debut earlier this month, added two hits and an RBI. Chris Perez notched his seventh save of the season.

Jesse Litsch (0-3) was the hard-luck loser after allowing two runs in six innings for the Blue Jays, who failed to homer in three consecutive games for the first time all season. Toronto, which leads the majors with 115 longballs, managed only an RBI infield single from Nick Green in its eighth loss in 10 games.

Choo blasted a 2-2 pitch to the seats in right for a home run and 1-0 Indians lead in the opening inning, and Laffey helped it stand up by stifling the Jays' powerful offense.

Laffey faced the minimum nine batters through the first three innings, with the help of a double play in the first, and he stranded an Alex Gonzalez double with one down in the fourth.

The Jays finally threatened in the fifth, when a double and two walks -- all with two outs -- loaded the bases for Fred Lewis, who worked the count to 2-0 before striking out swinging.

The Indians doubled their lead in the sixth with help from their rookie catcher Santana. Jason Donald reached on a leadoff infield single, and Choo worked a one-out walk. Santana followed with a single to right, scoring Donald, although Choo was thrown out at third.

Toronto crept closer in the seventh, cutting its deficit in half and nearly tying the game. John Buck singled leading off and advanced to third on a hit- and-run play that resulted in a Lyle Overbay single that glanced off first baseman LaPorta's glove.

Frank Herrmann was called on to clean up the mess and got Aaron Hill to pop out. Green followed with a slow roller up the middle that resulted in an RBI infield single. He prevented any further damage, though, striking out pinch- hitter Adam Lind and Lewis to maintain a 2-1 lead.

LaPorta then launched a moon shot home run to deep center to restore Cleveland's two-run cushion in the home seventh.

The Blue Jays never sent the tying run to the plate, as Joe Smith and Perez retired the last six Toronto hitters.

In 18 games, Santana is hitting .345 with nine doubles, four homers and 15 RBI...Overbay's hit was the 1,000th of his career...The season series is tied, 3-3...The Indians haven't won three straight in the same series since sweeping the White Sox from April 16-18...The Indians' bullpen has pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings in this series

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