Former Long County Blue Tide pitcher and Toronto Blue Jay reliever Dustin McGowan saw more action this past week as he faced the Tampa Bay Rays on July 19 and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday and Tuesday.
All three games were in Toronto.
Against the Rays, McGowan replaced starting pitcher Esmil Rogers with two outs in the top of the sixth inning with the game tied, 4-all, and a Tampa runner on first. McGowan got Tampa Bay catcher Jose Molina to ground out to end the inning.
McGowan was back on the mound in the top of the seventh inning, with the game still tied, to face second baseman Ryan Roberts, who struck out swinging. Outfielder Desmond Jennings hit a low McGowan pitch to shortstop Jose Reyes, who threw Jennings out at first base. Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist rapped a double in the next at-bat. McGowan intentionally walked Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Langoria and was replaced on the hill by fellow reliever Cecil Brett.
McGowan’s final line for the appearance, according to ESPN.com, was one inning pitched, one strikeout, one hit and one walk allowed and no runs.
The Rays won, 8-5.
On Monday, McGowan entered the game in the top of the fifth inning with the Dodgers up, 6-2. McGowan got Juan Uribe to ground out, but Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis followed with a single. The next batter, Carl Crawford, reached first base on a throwing error by McGowan, and Ellis advanced to second base.
However, McGowan got out of the jam by getting outfielder Yasiel Puig to fly out and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to ground out.
McGowan started the sixth inning by walking shortstop Hanely Ramirez. Outfielder Andre Ethier nailed a pitch toward Jays first baseman Adam Lind, who couldn’t handle the ball and committed an error to put runners at the corners. Los Angeles catcher A.J. Ellis then nailed a McGowan pitch to centerfield for a single, scoring Ramirez. McGowan then was replaced by Cecil.
McGowan threw one inning with two hits, a walk and an unearned run allowed.
The Dodgers won, 14-5.
On Tuesday, McGowan came into the top of the seventh with the bases loaded, one out and Toronto up, 8-4. Ellis singled off McGowan to bring in two runs, and McGowan hit the next batter, third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr., with a pitch to load the bases again.
However, McGowan struck out catcher Tim Federowicz and got shortstop Nick Punto to hit a ground ball that resulted in Ethier being forced out at home to end the inning.
Toronto went on to win, 10-9, as McGowan claimed his third hold of the season.
According to ESPN.com, going into Thursday’s action, McGowan had seen action in 14 games, throwing 14 1/3 innings.
He had allowed 10 hits, five runs, three earned runs and six walks. He had struck out 17 batters and his earned-run average was 1.88.
The Blue Jays, 45-55 after Wednesday’s games, are at the bottom of the American League East standings, 13 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox. Toronto is 11 games back in the wild-card race.