Cleveland, OH – The Cleveland Indians used what little offense they produced to slip past the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-0, in the first of a three-game set.
Ubaldo Jimenez (7-4) pitched himself out of trouble early and kept the Blue Jays scoreless for six innings. He gave up five hits and struck out four as he won his third straight decision.
Drew Stubbs picked up his 500th hit with a double and scored a run for Cleveland, which had lost five of its previous seven coming into Tuesday.
Josh Johnson (1-4) lost for the 11th time in his last 13 decisions despite holding Cleveland to two runs on three hits over seven innings. He also struck out six.
"I thought Josh was great," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of his starter. "He pitched a heck of a ballgame, we just didn't get any run support."
Maicer Izturis had a pair of hits including a double for Toronto, which has lost 10 of its last 15 games after reeling off 11 straight wins in June.
Johnson retired Cleveland's first 10 hitters before Asdrubal Cabrera worked a one-out walk in the fourth. Jason Kipnis followed with a single up the middle and Nick Swisher sent a single to right to plate Cabrera. Michael Brantley capped the rally with a line drive into right to score Kipnis and give Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
Izturis picked up his double with one out in the second inning when Brantley lost his soft, low line drive in the lights, but Jimenez left him in scoring position.
Jimenez worked out of another jam in the top of the fourth after Colby Rasmus led off the inning with a double and moved to third on Izturis' seeing-eye single. Jimenez induced a fielder's choice at second, then struck out J.P. Arencibia and got Emilio Bonifacio to fly out to escape the threat.
"He pitched around some things," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "He never let it spiral or get out of hand."
Cleveland tacked on its third run in the eighth inning after Stubbs led off with a double. He moved to third on Michael Bourn's sacrifice and scored on Cabrera's sac fly to center field.
Chris Perez gave up a pair of one-out hits in the ninth inning but struck out Arencibia and got pinch-hitter Josh Thole to line out to short to finish off his 10th save and Cleveland's American League-best 11th shutout of the season.
The start of the game was delayed 36 minutes due to rain ... Cleveland has won five of Jimenez's last six starts ... Johnson has one win over his last 14 starts ... Toronto went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base and Cleveland went 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left three men on base.