Long County native Dustin McGowan last Friday picked up his first save as a relief pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The veteran right-hander held off Baltimore for the final 1 innings to nail down the Blue Jays’ 4-0 win in Baltimore.
According to ESPN.com, McGowan entered the game in the eighth inning with the Blue Jays up, 4-0, while the Orioles had the tying run at the plate with one out. McGowan struck out Chris Davis and got Nelson Cruz to ground out to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, McGowan gave up a one-out hit to Manny Machado, but then got the next two batters out.
McGowan faced six batters, striking out three.
On Sunday, McGowan saw more action against the Orioles as he again pitched 1 , striking out two batters, walking one and allowing one earned run in Toronto’s 5-2 win.
Since McGowan’s move to the dugout, the right-hander has continued to flourish, lowering his earned-run average from a 5.08 to 4.00 in 15 innings of relief action. According to baseball-reference.com, he has a 1.20 ERA and is allowing .600 walks/hits per inning as a reliever this season.
In a story by David Wilson for MLB.com, McGowan said he has accepted his new role in the dugout and no longer has to worry about running out of gas in a game.
With his move to the dugout, McGowan has shown that he still can throw the heat and do so more at will. In Friday and Saturday’s action, his fastball reached 95 mph.
As of Tuesday afternoon, according to ESPN.com, the Blue Jays were 41-30 overall and in first place in the American League East Division. Toronto had a 4.5-game lead on the second-place New York Yankees and a five-game lead on third-place Baltimore.
Oakland led the American League with a 42-28 record.