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McGowan faces Braves
Run support earned him win over Pirates
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Fans of local Blue Jays pitcher and Long County native Dustin McGowan and fans of the Atlanta Braves will have a hard time picking sides tonight as the righty is set to take the mound as the Toronto Blue Jays host the Braves.
The game starts at 7 and is scheduled to be televised on SPORTSOUTH.
McGowan is coming off a win, despite not having one of his best games of the year. The hometown favorite got help from his bats Sunday when the Jays picked up the win over Pittsburgh 8-5.
McGowan was happy to get the run support from his team, and so was new manager Cito Gaston.
Gaston was hired last Friday as the new skipper for the Blue Jays, after long time manager John Gibbons was fired.  
The new manager, who had been out of baseball since 2001, led Toronto to back-to-back World Series Titles in 1992 and 1993, and has the task of turning around a team that has under achieved this year as a result of inept offensive productivity.
The win over the Pirates was just the fifth for the Jays over their last 20 games, but with the team managing 11 hits in the contest Gaston is optimistic about turning things around.
McGowan had a rough start in the game as the 26-year-old surrendered four runs and nine hits.
He lasted five innings facing 25 batters. He threw 87 pitches with 55 strikes. He struck out 2 and gave up only 1 walk. McGowan had 5 ground outs and 8 fly outs, and gave up 3 earned runs.
Even though the game against the Pirates wasn’t one of the right-handers best of the season, he has been on in recent games.
Over his last six starts, McGowan has struck out 32 batters and walked only 6.  During that span he posted a 4-1 record.
The game tonight is in Toronto and McGowan’s ERA at home this year has been an impressive 1.73.
Recently McGowan said, “In order for us to make the playoffs we need to play better on the road and be a little more consistent.”
Tonight Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to pitch for the Braves.
The right-handed Braves pitcher has an impressive 2-3 record and brings in a 3.98 ERA. According to the Braves scouting report he had another strong outing on Saturday night, but wasn’t rewarded with a win. In Saturday’s battle Jurrjens allowed three runs, none earned, in six innings, striking out four and walking two. Jurrjens will be facing Toronto for the first time.
The same scouting report mentioned that walks have played a key role in McGowan’s 4-1 record over his past six outings. In his previous three starts, McGowan had 10 walks against eight strikeouts, and he went 0-2 with a 7.80 ERA over that span.
Toronto (36-41), sits in 5th place in the American League East, and has fallen ten games behind Boston (47-32), while Atlanta (38-40) now is in 4th place in the National League East, 4-1/2 games behind Philadelphia (42-35).
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