TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
MLB

Lawrie homers, Morrow strikes out nine as Jays defeat Astros

{eot}
The Canadian Press
4/9/2014 11:51:45 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

TORONTO -- When Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow is on his game, his stuff can be electric and will often leave opposing hitters handcuffed.

He displayed that dominant form in a solid six-inning performance Wednesday night as Toronto defeated the Houston Astros 7-3 at Rogers Centre.

Morrow struck out nine batters as the Blue Jays (5-4) locked up their first series win of the young season and moved over the .500 mark in the process. The veteran right-hander was hitting the high 90's with his fastball and retired the first nine batters in order, fanning six along the way.

"He was throwing the crap out of the ball ... he was using all of his pitches really (well) and he gave us a real shot to win the game," said Toronto catcher Dioner Navarro.

The Blue Jays staked Morrow to an early two-run lead and gave him a 5-0 cushion after five innings. The Astros battled back with three runs in the sixth before Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., provided some insurance with a two-run shot an inning later for his first homer of the season.

"They stung us there and battled back and got within reaching distance there, so it was good to put us back on top and put it out of reach later in the game," Lawrie said.

Melky Cabrera, Maicer Izturis and Navarro had two hits apiece as Toronto outhit the Astros 10-6.

Morrow (1-1) struck out the side in the first inning. The Astros didn't put a man on base until the fourth, when leadoff man Dexter Fowler walked and moved to third on Jason Castro's one-out single.

That didn't faze Morrow -- he struck out cleanup man Jose Altuve and fanned Chris Carter to get out of the jam.

"He was throwing a lot of split-fingers and sliders and we were kind of fishing at them," said Astros outfielder Alex Presley.

Morrow allowed five hits and three earned runs in his first quality start since May 5th, 2013. It was the first time he had struck out at least nine batters in a game since an 11-strikeout performance against the Minnesota Twins on Oct. 3, 2012.

"I thought he was very aggressive tonight and he had that look about him too," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "I mean he was confident, but that's what he's capable of doing ... it's something to build off of."

Toronto's timely hitting and some poor defensive play by the Astros helped the Blue Jays score three runs in the fifth. Cabrera singled, stole second and scored on a single by Izturis.

Jose Bautista walked and the runners advanced when Edwin Encarnacion grounded out weakly to the first-base side. After Adam Lind was intentionally walked to load the bases, Navarro hit a tailor-made double play ball to Matt Dominguez but the third baseman made an errant throw that allowed two runs to score.

The Astros did all of their damage in the sixth inning. Fowler singled to centre and Presley followed with a two-run homer to deep right-centre field.

Altuve tripled and scored when Carter grounded out. Encarnacion made a nice play at first base by short-hopping a chopper from Marc Krauss and stepping on the bag for the third out.

In the bottom of the sixth, Ryan Goins reached on a walk but was later picked off by Williams. Gibbons came out to talk to the umpire but didn't challenge the call as the replays the Blue Jays saw were inconclusive.

Triple-A callup Neil Wagner came on in the seventh inning and retired the Astros in order. Lawrie turned on a 2-1 pitch from Josh Zeid, who relieved Williams after he left the game due to a right groin strain.

Toronto reliever Steve Delabar recorded one out in the ninth before taking a liner off his lower right leg. He limped off the field and was replaced by Esmil Rogers, who got the final two outs.

Announced attendance was 13,569 and the game took three hours nine minutes to play. The Blue Jays will go for a sweep of the three-game series on Thursday night.

Notes: Toronto ace R.A. Dickey (1-1) is scheduled to face Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel (0-1) in the series finale. ... Before the game, the Blue Jays recalled Wagner from the Buffalo Bisons and optioned fellow right-hander Marcus Walden to the triple-A club. ... Izturis was moved from the No. 8 spot to the second position in the batting order. He went 2-for-3 to improve his batting average to .459. ... Toronto split a four-game series at Tampa Bay to open the season before dropping a weekend set to the New York Yankees. ... Delabar said he iced his leg after the game and would probably get the day off Thursday. ... Navarro stole a base in the seventh inning. It was his first steal since a game on Sept. 7, 2009 against the Yankees.

Brandon Morrow (Photo: The Canadian Press)

zoom

(Photo: The Canadian Press)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story



  • [1] Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners
  • [2] Mike Trout, CF, L.A. Angels of Anaheim
  • [3] Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh
  • Top 200 - updated July 29
Baseball Canada

Keep up with the latest on Canada's national programs from the governing body for amateur baseball in Canada.


Baseball Canada Website

Podcasts

TSN 1050: The Baseball Podcast: July 30 - Episode 15

Scott MacArthur & Toronto Star's Richard Griffin preview the trade deadline, Blue Jays' needs & being on Boston as Jon Lester rumours ramp up.

TSN 1050: Blue Lunch: July 9 - John McDonald

LA Angels infielder, John McDonald joined Blue Lunch to discuss his career from the time he left Toronto to the present.

TSN 1050: Late Night Game Night: Scott MacArthur - June 3rd

TSN 1050 Blue Jays Analyst Scott MacArthur joined Gareth Wheeler to recap the Blue Jays 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers along with more Jays talk.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television