Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/15/12

Before I get to Friday’s game, I got a trade rumor involving the Toronto Blue Jays.

I was listening to a Toronto radio station on Wednesday night and the announcer mentioned that Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks was on the Jays radar screen.  Now I don’t know how Upton would fit into the Blue Jays lineup.  They already have three pretty good outfielders and they certainly don’t need the offense.  What they need is pitching.

The Blue Jays kicked off the second half of the Major League season with a 1-0 loss.

The only scoring in the game happened in the second inning when Cleveland’s Travis Hafner hit a solo home run.

Jays starting pitcher, Ricky Romero had a pretty good night despite the loss.  “I thought Ricky (Romero) did a very good job for us,” said Jays manager, John Farrell in Friday’s post game press conference.

Romero gave up six hits, one earned run, two walks, and struck out six batters in six innings.

There was a lot more offense in Saturday’s game.

Adam Lind opened the scoring for the Jays by driving in Colby Rasmus and Jose Bautista with a double in the bottom of the first inning.  Lind would finished the afternoon with four hits and four RBIs.

The Indians tied it up at the top of the second inning with two runs of their own.  First, Jose Lopez scored when Shelley Duncan got hit with a wild pitch with bases loaded.  Then, Casey Kotchman drove in Carlos Santana on a routine double play.

The Jays bats came out swinging in the bottom of the third inning as they scored eight runs to make it a 10-2 game.

“Just a outstanding offensive day,” said Jays manager, John Farrell in Saturday’s post game press conference. 

At the top of the fourth inning, Duncan made it 10-4 by hitting a two run homer.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Edwin Encarnacion hit his second home run of the game to make it 11-4.  He too had a good day at the plate, going two for four with three RBIs.

It looked as if the Jays had this one in the bag.  Not at all.  “We needed every run we scored,” said Farrell

At the top of the eighth inning, both Michael Brantley and Kotchman hit two run homer to make it 11-8.  Then, pinch-hitter, Travis Hafner drove in Asdrubal Cabrera with a single.

Up 11-9, with two on base, Casey Janssen came out of the bullpen and shut down the Indian’s offense in the eighth inning.  He then came into the ninth inning and shut Cleveland down one, two, three.

Starting pitcher, Aaron Laffey gave up eight hits, four earned runs, three walks and struck out four batters in five innings pitched.

The Blue Jays ended their three game series against Cleveland with a 3-0 shut out win on Sunday.

Carlos Villanueva has a 4-0 record so far this season.

Jays starting pitcher, Carlos Villanueva now has a 4-0 record.

 Despite surrendering five walks in the game, Villanueva had a pretty good outing, giving up only three hits, no earned runs, and struck out eight batters in six innings pitched.

The Jays head to New York where they will face the Yankees for three games starting Monday night.  This series is very important because it will show where the Jays are heading in second half of the season as far as I’m concerned. 

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