The Jays pulled out their second straight come-from-behind victory today to win their home series against Baltimore.
On the Mound:
Of course, the big story was Dustin McGowan's return to a big league starting rotation. McGowan started for the first time in over three years in the majors and, as you'd expect, is still getting back into the swing of things. McGowan made it through three innings (he started the fourth but didn't record an out) and did a good job preventing hitters from hitting the ball hard. However, he had trouble locating his fastball and barely used his curveball or changeup. On the plus side, McGowan did throw a couple of sliders for strikes and his fastball was in the mid 90s for most of his appearance. On the minus side, he was leaving pitches up and walked five in three innings. McGowan showed flashes of the old Dustin in the third inning when he quickly recorded three straight groundouts. At this stage, it's all about how his arm feels and gradually his feel for his pitches will come back.
At the Plate:
Some of the younger Jays are really showing well. The Jays had some trouble against Baltimore starter Tommy Hunter for most of the game but they scratched across a few runs early and when they did get to Hunter, they got to him all the way. Eric Thames had a couple of hits on some good at-bats. David Cooper started the Jays' game-winning rally in the 7th with a home run and two batters later, Adam Loewen added a homer of his own to tie things up. Loewen also had another good hit, while Cooper also worked a walk late in the game. On the veteran side, Adam Lind had an RBI single and Jose Bautista drove in a couple with a hit and a sac fly. Mike McCoy leading off also worked out, as he scored three runs and was adequate at short.
From the Pen:
With McGowan only going three innings, it was a busy day for the pen, and there was good and bad. Carlos Villanueva wasn't charged with any runs, but he let a couple of McGowan's runners score and 3 hits and a walk over 2 innings isn't very impressive, though he was keeping the ball down. Shawn Camp wasn't great either, allowing a run in his inning amidst a couple of walks and a hit. Things got much better in the late innings with Joel Carreno pitching a clean 7th to pick up the win when the Jays rallied in the bottom of the frame. Casey Janssen came in for the "hold" in the 8th to protect the one-run lead and was terrific, dusting the Orioles with three quick easy groundouts and using just 8 pitches to do it. Frank Francisco allowed a walk in the 9th to make things interesting, but managed to hold the line for the save.
In the Field:
Adam Loewen started in centre and although I didn't get to see the game (thanks, dumb mlb blackout rules), he seemed fine. Loewen was replaced by DeWayne Wise late in the game for defense.
I am just hoping that the performance of guys like Cooper and Loewen hopefully buys them some playing time as we go down the stretch. It's not a huge deal, and Farrell is doing a good job working a lot of players in, but I don't see the logic behind giving Mark Teahen at-bats over the younger players.
Jays of the Day: Francisco, Janssen, Loewen, McCoy, Cooper, Thames, and a very honourable mention to Dustin McGowan!