Posted May 13, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays
Los Angeles Angels
If his recent starts are any indication, Brandon Morrow could be on his way to making the jump to top-flight starting pitcher this season.
The Tampa Bay Rays didn't appear very impressed with the right-hander last month.
Morrow looks to win a career-high fifth consecutive start and exact a measure of revenge against the Rays in the opener of a two-game series Monday night at Rogers Centre.
Part of a very young Toronto rotation, Morrow (4-1, 2.27 ERA) has been the team's most reliable starter this season and has been downright dominant lately. He's 4-0 with a 0.65 ERA in his last four starts, striking out 30 and walking five.
After throwing a three-hitter with eight strikeouts in a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels on May 3, Morrow fanned a season-high 10 in six innings and overcame four walks - half his previous season total - en route to a 5-2 victory at Oakland on Wednesday. He had gone 23 2-3 innings without allowing a run before giving up an RBI single in the fifth.
"I wasn't as sharp as I have been. I walked too many guys and it hurt me in the fifth," Morrow said. "I didn't have a good slider today and that probably affected things. My stuff was still good."
The righty did not have good stuff when he faced Tampa Bay (21-14) on April 18. He allowed season highs of six runs and eight hits over six innings and matched a career high by giving up three homers in a 12-2 loss at Rogers Centre.
That outcome was surprising because Morrow had been 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA in his previous six starts against the Rays.
Toronto (19-16) settled for a split of a 10-game trip following a 4-3 loss to Minnesota on Sunday, scoring three times in the eighth before Brett Lawrie grounded out with the tying run on third.
"We played pretty solid baseball all the way around,'' manager John Farrell said. "You'd like to come back 6-4, but I'm not going to take away anything from anybody. We're playing competitive baseball. We're bringing it every day and we got to go home and get things going.''
The Blue Jays have won four of five at home and scored 33 runs in those victories.
Tampa Bay won Sunday for only the second time in eight games, holding on for a 9-8 victory at Baltimore to avoid a three-game sweep. Elliot Johnson and Ben Zobrist homered and Carlos Pena had two doubles and two RBIs to help the Rays improve to 2-4 on an eight-game trip.
"We never like getting swept,'' said James Shields, who improved to 6-1. "It's a big win.''
Pena's contributions came after he went 3 for 37 with 14 strikeouts to begin May. He's 4 for 26 his last eight games versus Toronto and is hitless in nine career at-bats against Morrow.
Jeff Niemann (2-3, 3.48) looks to build on his best start of the season for Tampa Bay. After allowing three earned runs or fewer in each of his first five starts but never making it through six innings, the right-hander limited the Yankees to one run and six hits over seven with one walk and five strikeouts Wednesday.
Niemann wasn't sharp at Toronto on April 17, yielding five runs - two earned - and three hits over five innings in a 7-3 loss. He's 4-4 with a 5.11 ERA in 12 starts against the Blue Jays.
Adam Lind is 13 for 28 (.464) with three homers against Niemann but Edwin Encarnacion, Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson are a combined 3 for 32.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
.222/.325/.338 with bases empty
.280/.351/.451 with runners on
.217/.292/.340 with bases empty
.267/.346/.466 with runners on
.230/.282/..451 with bases empty
.147/.221/.250 with runners on
Through Monday night's game.
Drew Hutchison tossed six solid innings and Jose Bautista laced a go-ahead solo home run in the sixth frame, helping the Toronto Blue Jays down the Minnesota Twins, 2-1, in the third test of a four-game set.
Hutchison (2-1) surrendered a run on three hits and four walks for Toronto, which has won three of its last four.
Adam Lind added an RBI single while Casey Janssen picked up...
With a 2.61ERA and a 1.10 WHIP, nobody is going to be complaining about Henderson Alvarez' results so far this season.
Alvarez, the Blue Jays' second-year number three starter, is off to a great start based on traditional baseball card numbers, also sporting a 3-2 record and averaging just shy of 7 innings per start. He's been of great value to a rotation that has seen...
TORONTO (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Rays have placed outfielder Desmond Jennings on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 12, and recalled utilityman Stephen Vogt from Triple-A Durham.
Vogt was expected to join the Rays in time for Monday night's game at Toronto.
Jennings left a May 6 game against Oakland with a sprained left knee, but has made two pinch-hit appearances since...
Ricky Romero has become a pretty successful left-handed starting pitcher the past couple of years. Now, he seems to be a pro at something else – blowing gum bubbles.
I doubt that this was the biggest bubble ever blown, but that is the best I’ve ever seen. According to a tweet which accompanied the picture, Romero stated that the bubble was made from four pieces of Dubble Bubble gum.
Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jeff Niemann is expected to miss four to six weeks after fracturing his right leg during Monday night's 7-1 win at Toronto.
Niemann was struck on the ankle by Adam Lind's drive with runners at first and second in the first inning. He recovered to make the out, but walked gingerly around the mound and was checked by the trainer before finishing...
In today's edition of Rays Roundup: Infielder Sean Rodriguez may have been hurt Sunday, but that didn't stop him from helping the Rays seal their 9-8 victory over the O's, Desmond Jennings is still hobbled by a sore knee, Hideki Matsui is one step closer to the major leagues and B.J. Upton has a game he'll soon want to forget on Mother's Day.
Must have been a hell of an adrenaline rush, because Eric Thames reacted like he just won the lottery
The Tampa Bay Rays are receiving some bad news on outfielder Desmond Jennings. Manager Joe Maddon told reporters Sunday that the progress on Jennings’ injured knee is stalling as Jennings’ knee is still sore and it will still cause him to miss games and possibly turn into significant time loss.
Jennings was out of the lineup Sunday and missed his sixth straight game due to the...
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Jose Bautista homered for the third time in two nights and Drew Hutchison threw six strong innings for his second career win and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Saturday night.
Bautista has just nine hits over his past 53 at-bats, but five of them have been home runs. He hit two in Friday night's loss, and his sixth-inning solo shot...
Jose Bautista didn't get much of an opportunity to see if he liked hitting in the Metrodome.
The slugger, though, has made the most of his games at Target Field as the Toronto Blue Jays wrap up a four-game series Sunday against the Minnesota Twins.
Bautista, who hit 97 homers over the past two seasons, has eight thus far in 2012 despite a .197 batting average. But coming to...
Elliot Johnson and Ben Zobrist homered, Carlos Pena ended an extended slump with two doubles and two RBIs, and the Tampa Bay Rays held on to beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-8 Sunday and avert a three-game sweep.
James Shields earned his sixth win for the Rays, who snapped a three-game skid and won for only the second time in eight games. Tampa Bay entered the series tied atop the AL...
The Tampa Bay Rays know what it takes to win, and making five errors in a game is certainly not part of that formula.
And so, after the Rays bungled their way to a 5-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night, manager Joe Maddon didn't have to dig deep to come up with an explanation for the defeat.
''There's a fine line between winning and losing,''...
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Elliot Johnson and Ben Zobrist homered, Carlos Pena ended an extended slump with two doubles and two RBIs, and the Tampa Bay Rays held on to beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-8 Sunday and avert a three-game sweep.
James Shields earned his sixth win for the Rays, who snapped a three-game skid and won for only the second time in eight games. Tampa Bay entered the series...
LANSING, MI - Former two-time high school player of the year in the state of Colorado, Andrew Burns has had an extraordinary journey to the position he holds now in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Burns was chosen by the Colorado Rockies in the 25th round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft.