Toronto Blue Jays pitcher and Long County native Dustin McGowan on Friday picked up his first win since 2008, as the Blue Jays won in Baltimore, 2-0.
McGowan looked impressive, going 6 innings, giving up no runs, five hits and one walk while striking out two batters. He established himself early on by striking out the Orioles’ first two batters, fellow Georgian Nick Markakis and former American League Championship Series MVP Delmon Young. Chris Davis then flew out to center field, ending the first inning.
McGowan remained solid all day, staying ahead of the count against most of the Orioles. He only got into one tight spot in the game. In the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs, he gave up three straight singles to load the bases. But Adam Jones flew out to center field to end the threat.
In the seventh inning, Blue Jay’s manager John Gibbons replaced McGowan with Brett Cecil, who went 1 innings, followed by Sergio Santos, who closed out the game to pick up the save.
This was only McGowan’s second start since Sept. 26, 2011, and after a horrible outing against the New York Yankees in his first start, where he gave up eight hits and had a 13.5 earned-run average, the 32-year-old veteran was satisfied with his day.
In a Jeff Seidel story for MLB.com, McGowan said, “I got an opportunity to pitch again, and that’s all I could ask for. It’s something to build on. After the last one, I knew I needed to come out and have just have a strong showing. I was relaxed tonight and just focused on pitching.”
So far this season, McGowan is 1-1 with an ERA of 4.00, while Toronto was 6-5 and tied for first place in the American League Eastern Division as of Tuesday morning.
McGowan is scheduled to be back on the mound Thursday when the Blue Jays face the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. He is slated to face right-hander Kyle Gibson, who has been on fire this year with a 2-0 record and 1.59 ERA. Game time is 1:10 p.m.