Former Long County pitcher Dustin McGowan’s comeback continued with positive results last week with two more good performances for the Toronto Blue Jays.
McGowan, who has battled injuries the past few seasons, picked up holds in relief appearances against Cleveland and Baltimore.
A pitcher gets a hold when he goes into a game with the lead and maintains the lead.
On July 10, McGowan replaced starting pitcher Esmil Rogers in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Jays leading Cleveland, 2-1. McGowan struck out former American League MVP Jason Giambi, but then walked third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall. However, the third batter, outfielder Drew Stubbs, grounded into a double play to end the inning. For the night McGowan threw 10 pitches, with five going for strikes. The Jays went on to win, 5-4.
Last Saturday, McGowan threw 1 1/3 innings against Baltimore. McGowan came into the game in the bottom of the sixth with Toronto up, 4-3, with one out and the Orioles’ Chris Davis at first base. McGowan struck out all-star shortstop J.J. Hardy on a foul tip. On the same play, Davis was thrown out attempting to steal second, which ended the inning.
In the top of the seventh, the Blue Jays added three more runs to go up 7-3. In the bottom of the inning, McGowan got catcher Matt Wieters to fly out, but second baseman Brian Roberts doubled to left field. McGowan then struck out designated hitter Nolan Reimold before being replaced.
For the night, McGowan threw 17 pitches, with 10 going for strikes. The Blue Jays won, 7-3.
According to MLB.com, going into Thursday’s action, McGowan has pitched 11 1/3 innings, allowing 6 hits, two earned runs and three walks. He has thrown 14 strikeouts and a 1.59 earned-run average.
The Blue Jays entered the second half of the season with a 45-49 record and were 11 1/2 games behind the A.L. East-leading Boston Red Sox. Toronto was sixth in the wildcard race.