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KC@CLE: Jimenez posts solid outing vs. Royals

When the Blue Jays and Indians take the field on Tuesday for Game 1 of their three-game series, they will be fast approaching the All-Star break with two different mind-sets.

The Indians -- who are coming off a divisional tilt with the Tigers -- aim to get back on track, chasing Detroit for the division lead.

The Blue Jays, on the other hand, are hoping to keep moving in the right direction after earning their first series win since their 11-game win streak from June 11-23. Toronto has gone 5-9 since the streak, falling to last place in the American League East.

Taking the mound for the Indians in the opener will be right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who is 6-4 with a 4.67 ERA through 17 starts. He was charged with three runs on three hits in five innings against Kansas City in his most recent start.

"I just lost the strike zone," Jimenez said.

Right-hander Josh Johnson, 1-3 with a 4.89 ERA through 10 starts, will start for the Blue Jays. He allowed six runs against the Tigers his last time out, although only one run was earned. The defense didn't do him any favors, but he didn't help much either, making two errors of his own.

"I've got to pick up my teammates," Johnson said. "Things like that are going to happen. I've got to make better pitches, get outs and get outs quicker."

Blue Jays: Rotation struggles spell trouble
Among Toronto's issues since its winning streak ended at 11 in late June is lackluster performances from the rotation.

After Sunday's game, the rotation ranked near the bottom of the Majors in ERA.

"This is our rotation; we like it," manager John Gibbons said. "You ride it out. We think they're going to pitch good the rest of the way out, we really do."

Indians: Kipnis successful at thievery
Second baseman Jason Kipnis stole his 20th base on Sunday and is one of only four players in team history with at least 20 steals and 50 RBIs in a season's first half. Kipnis (2012, '13) and Grady Sizemore (2007, '08) are the only players in Cleveland history to have at least 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a first half twice in a career.

• The Indians have signed right-hander Justin Garcia, selected in the 38th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft from Weatherford College. Cleveland has now signed 23 of its 39 picks from this year's Draft.

Worth noting
• The Indians have gone 23-12 at home since April 30.

• In 25 games since June 10, Maicer Izturis has had 16 RBIs for the Blue Jays, with a .315 batting average. He had a perfect day at the plate on Saturday against the Twins, going 3-for-3.

• Cleveland backup catcher Lou Marson, who has been on the disabled list with an injured right shoulder since late April, played catch up to 90 feet on Monday.

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