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Morrow pitches two-hit shutout, Blue Jays beat White Sox

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The Canadian Press
6/6/2012 11:45:17 PM
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CHICAGO -- Brandon Morrow's previous start was a painful one. He took a line drive off his leg and had to be helped off the field.

A week later, he hopped back on the mound and showed no adverse effects.

Morrow pitched a two-hitter for his third shutout this season, most in the majors, and the Toronto Blue Jays got home runs from Jose Bautista and Rajai Davis in a 4-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

"It felt fine for a few days. It's just sore to the touch. It doesn't hurt to move. There was no hesitation," Morrow said about his leg.

Against Baltimore a week earlier, Morrow took a liner off the bat of Wilson Betemit in the seventh inning. After X-rays showed no major injury, it was determined it was just a bruised right shin. And the right-hander wasn't worried Wednesday night about another hard-hit ball coming at him through the box.

"There's that chance every time you take the mound. That's not something you think of. If it happens, it happens," he said. "I've been hit a few times."

Morrow (7-3) allowed singles in the second and eighth to A.J. Pierzynski and retired 14 straight at one point. He gave up his only two walks in the ninth, to Adam Dunn and Alejandro De Aza, and struck out five, including Dayan Viciedo to end it.

"It was mainly all fastball, slider. I threw a few changeups to the left-handers, trying to keep them honest," Morrow said. "When I have fastball command down to both sides of the plate, that's when I've been at my best, and that's what I had tonight."

He faced a White Sox lineup without star Paul Konerko, who sat out a second straight game after having a bone chip flushed out of a joint in his left wrist. Chicago's first baseman has missed three games in a row overall after having the day off to rest last Sunday. Konerko said he hopes to play Thursday night when the White Sox try to avoid a three-game sweep.

"It's just one of those days when you run into a guy that puts it to you and just overmatches you," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said of Morrow's performance, one that followed a strong effort Tuesday night by Ricky Romero in the Blue Jays' 9-5 win.

After the two losses, Chicago's lead in the AL Central has been trimmed to a half-game over Cleveland.

"Guys throw like that, like the last two nights, and it's tougher. It's just the way it goes," Ventura said. "You just put it behind you."

After Pierzynski's second single in the eighth and with the White Sox down 2-0, pinch-runner Brent Lillibridge was easily thrown out trying to steal second with no outs.

"It kills their rally there," Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia said. "I was fortunate to get a good pitch to throw on. Right out of the hand I knew I had a good throw on the way. It was a big out."

Chicago starter Jose Quintana (1-1) gave up nine hits and two runs in six innings. He was making his first start since being ejected in the fourth inning against the Rays a week ago for throwing behind Ben Zobrist.

Quintana has pitched well while filling in for John Danks, on the disabled list with a strained shoulder.

"He's proved he can pitch up here," Ventura said.

The Blue Jays snapped a scoreless tie in the fifth when Davis just beat a throw to first as the White Sox were trying to turn a double play. He stole second and scored when Colby Rasmus -- who was 5 for 5 in the series opener-- lined an RBI single to left before being thrown out trying to stretch it to a double.

Leading off the sixth, Bautista hit a 3-2 pitch halfway up the left-field bleachers for his 15th homer of the season to give Morrow a two-run cushion. Davis added a two-run shot in the ninth, his fourth of the season, off Hector Santiago.

NOTES: Chicago backup catcher Tyler Flowers replaced Konerko at first. Flowers started two games there last season. ... Danks threw a pain-free bullpen session of 30-40 pitches and said he'll probably pitch one rehab game next week before coming off the DL and returning to the rotation. ... Blue Jays DH Edwin Encarnacion (right wrist) remained out of the lineup for the second consecutive game. He was hit in the wrist by a pitch Sunday. ... Yan Gomes was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas and put in the lineup at first base. It is his second stint with Toronto this season. He was robbed of a hit in the second inning on a diving stab by White Sox third baseman Orlando Hudson.

Brandon Morrow (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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