Pittsburgh, PA, United States (4E Sports) – Dustin McGowan pitched seven strong frames while Colby Rasmus smacked his fourth career grand slam as the Toronto Blue Jays cruised past the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-2, Sunday at PNC Park.
McGowan (2-1) allowed just one run on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts boosting his stock to remain in Toronto’s rotation.
It was rumored that McGowan was destined for a spot in the bullpen but after two quality starts, the club may have to reconsider its plan.
Melky Cabrera had three hits and knocked in two runs while Jose Bautista saw his career-high hit streak come to an end at 13 games, but he walked twice as the Blue Jays improved to 14-17.
Bautista reached base in each of Toronto’s 31 games this season, which is the longest streak in the Majors to begin a year since Joey Votto did it 33 times in 2011.
Toronto has scored at least five runs in seven of its past eight games. Dating back to April 20, the Blue Jays have averaged 5.62 runs a game but find themselves with a 4-9 record over that same span.
Pirates right-hander Edinson Volquez (1-3) was charged with six runs on seven hits over five innings. Pittsburgh (12-19) has just three wins from its starting rotation this season, with the latest coming during Volquez’s start against the Brewers on April 17.
Pittsburgh starters lasted a combined 13 2/3 innings in the three games of this series, and they have not pitched through the sixth in seven straight games.
Rookie Casey Sadler helped out with two scoreless innings, limiting the Blue Jays on one hit.
Jared Hughes took over in the eighth and gave up a run-scoring pinch-hit single to Dioner Navarro that gave the Blue Jays a 7-1 lead.