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McGowan gets win on Mariners
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Dustin McGowan put in another strong performance Saturday, as he and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Seattle Mariners 2-1.
Playing in front of the home crowd in Toronto, the Long County native, finally was able to pick another win, after his four previous outings resulted in three losses and one no decision, due to pitiful offensive output by the Blue Jays.
But even though McGowan was able to get the win, the Jays once again struggled to put runs on the board, managing only two. However, in this game, the bats on the team, could put a little of the blame for their low output on manager John Gibbons, who turned in an incorrect lineup card.
The error made was in the batting order of first baseman Lyle Overbay and second baseman Aaron Hill. Mariner manager, John McLaren waited until the second inning to use his ace-in-the-hole, and when Hill hit an apparent double, he threw out the card.
After a meeting on the field with the umpire and the two mangers, Hill was ruled out, and Gibbons acknowledged his blunder. This was the second time this season that the Head Blue Jay has turned in an incorrect lineup card. In Chicago, back on July 27, he made a similar mistake resulting in shortstop John McDonald being ruled ineligible to play, and the Jays lost that game 4-3.
Fortunately for Toronto, McGowan and Gibbons, the mistake on Saturday had no bearing in the outcome of the game.
McGowan did pick up his ninth win of the year, but it was with little run support from the team. In the game, the right-hander went eight innings, not allowing a run through the first seven. He faced 29 batters, throwing 117 pitches; with 73 of them being strikes. He gave up 6 hits, walked 1, struck out 3, and had 1 earned run in the game. His ERA is now 4.00 and he has a 9-8 record.
On Sunday, the Blue Jays beat the Mariners 6-4 to sweep the series and kept their slim play-off hopes alive. As of Monday, Toronto was 70-66 and in fourth place in the American League Wildcard standings. New York was on top, with a record of 76-61, while Seattle was at 73-62 and Detroit was 73-64.
Over their last 10 games the Jays have went 7-3 and made up some ground towards the run, but they will have to continue winning to make the post season tournament. The opportunity is there for the team, since of the 26 games left on their schedule, they do face the Yankees seven times.
On Sept. 11 they will have a sink-or-swim series against the Yanks in Toronto, and they will need a sweep to have any hopes of continuing their season into the playoffs.
McGowan and the rest of the pitching staff for Toronto will have to continue to pitch solid and consistent, if the team wants to make the post season, but in addition to that, the offensive output will have to increase if the club wants to have any chance.
Gibbons will also have to make sure he makes no more mistakes on the lineup card he turns in, because the Blue Jays are at that point in the season, where they can’t afford them.
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