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McGowan loses no-hitter in ninth, shuts out Rockies for sweep

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Dustin McGowan was looking for a no-hitter and a milestone for Frank Thomas, all in the same game.

McGowan's bid for the second no-hitter in Blue Jays history ended when Jeff Baker singled leading off the ninth inning, and Toronto beat the Colorado Rockies 5-0 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Frank Thomas hit his 499th career homer and Vernon Wells added a three-run drive for the Blue Jays (37-37), who got back to .500 for the first time since they were 13-13 on May 1.

"That would have been priceless, 500 and a no-no," McGowan said.

The 25-year-old right-hander had to settle for his first career complete game. He walked one and matched a career high with seven strikeouts.

"He's got dominant stuff," Thomas said. "I've been telling him since spring training, 'Kid, you've got something special. You're not an average starter. You're a way above average starter. Your stuff is electric and you can shut down teams for seven, eight innings like it's no big deal any day of the week."'

McGowan got ahead of Baker with a slider for strike one, but Baker lined the next pitch, an inside fastball, up the middle and into center field.

"Give him a lot of credit," Blue Jays catcher Gregg Zaun said. "He put a good swing on a really good pitch and was able to break up the no-hitter with a legitimate line drive."

The Rogers Centre crowd saluted McGowan with a standing ovation.

"I wasn't really looking for anything," Baker said. "His stuff was so good, you couldn't."

McGowan (3-3) retired the next three batters after Baker's hit and finished with 109 pitches.

"In the fourth or fifth inning, I just started using my fastball and slider mostly, getting a lot of groundballs," McGowan said. "That's what it's all about."

Dave Stieb tossed the only no-hitter for the Blue Jays on Sept. 2, 1990, at Cleveland. Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox and Detroit's Justin Verlander have thrown no-hitters this season.

McGowan became the second major leaguer to lose a no-hitter in the ninth this season. Boston's Curt Schilling lost one June 7 in Oakland when Shannon Stewart singled with two outs.

McGowan, a first-round pick in the 2000 draft, retired the first 10 batters he faced. Kaz Matsui drew a four-pitch walk with one out in the fourth and stole second, but McGowan struck out Matt Holliday and got Todd Helton to ground out.

"That was the best pitched game I've seen in a long time," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He had command of four pitches, late life on his fastball. His two-seam fastball was very effective to right-handers. He stayed completely away from the barrel, with the exception of that pitch to Baker in the ninth."

McGowan was hit hard in his previous start, allowing six runs and eight hits in just 1 2/3 innings against the Dodgers, his shortest start of the season.

"When you have outings like that, it's hard to put them behind you," McGowan said. "People kept drilling it into my head that you have to put it behind you and not worry about it and that's what I did."

McGowan's wife wasn't at the game. She left earlier in the day to return to the couple's Florida home.

"I'm kind of glad I didn't throw a no-hitter," McGowan said. "My wife left this morning and I'd have felt bad about it."

Thomas led off the fourth with his 12th home run. It was the second in two days for Thomas, who is one homer shy of becoming the 21st player to hit 500. He struck out in his last two at-bats and finished 1-for-4.

"I'm just really happy to be hitting the ball with authority again," he said.

Aaron Hill doubled home a run in the sixth.

The Rockies, who are 0-6 in Toronto, were swept for the first time this season.

Josh Fogg (3-6) allowed five runs and seven hits over six innings, walking two and striking out four. He lost for the first time since May 17 against Arizona, a span of five starts.

Notes

  • After starting at designated hitter for the first time in his career Saturday, Helton returned to first base.
  • The announced crowd at Rogers Centre was 33,910.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Dustin McGowan receives a Gatorade shower following his dazzling one-hitter vs. the Rockies.  (AP)
Dustin McGowan receives a Gatorade shower following his dazzling one-hitter vs. the Rockies. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

V. Wells
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Toronto

D. McGowan
IP 9.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 1
K 7
 

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Colorado Rockies
Willy Taveras, CF4000000 .311
Kaz Matsui, 2B3000111 .308
Matt Holliday, LF3000021 .355
Todd Helton, 1B3000001 .326
Garrett Atkins, 3B3000010 .243
Brad Hawpe, RF3000010 .291
Troy Tulowitzki, SS3000020 .274
Jeff Baker, DH3010000 .242
Yorvit Torrealba, C3000001 .234
Totals2801017  
Batting
SB - Kaz Matsui (14, 2nd base off McGowan/Zaun)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
DP - Atkins-Helton
Colorado Rockies
Josh Fogg (L,3-6) 6755242 4.81
Taylor Buchholz 2000020 4.88
HBP - McDonald (by Josh Fogg)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Fogg 110-66, Taylor Buchholz 25-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Fogg 5-8, Taylor Buchholz 1-3
Batters Faced - Josh Fogg 27, Taylor Buchholz 6
Toronto Blue Jays
Vernon Wells, CF4113010 .245
Gregg Zaun, C3000111 .233
Alex Rios, RF4000002 .287
Matt Stairs, 1B4110021 .307
Frank Thomas, DH4111021 .242
Aaron Hill, 2B4021000 .277
Adam Lind, LF3000001 .227
Howie Clark, 3B2110100 .316
John McDonald, SS2110002 .295
Totals3057526  
Batting
2B - Matt Stairs (8, Fogg), Aaron Hill (22, Fogg)
HR - Vernon Wells (8, Fogg), Frank Thomas (12, Fogg)
RBI - Vernon Wells 3 (39), Frank Thomas (34), Aaron Hill (44)
SB - John McDonald (3, 2nd base off Fogg/Torrealba)
Team LOB - 4
Toronto Blue Jays
Dustin McGowan (W,4-3) 9100170 4.83
Pitches-Strikes - Dustin McGowan 109-73
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dustin McGowan 14-6
Batters Faced - Dustin McGowan 29
Game Information
Attendance - 33910
Game Time - 2:10
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Gerry Davis