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Chicago at Toronto

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Chi. White Sox (14-16)000000000040
Toronto (16-17) «00000010x180

McGowan outduels Vazquez to help Jays sweep White Sox

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- The White Sox couldn't ask for much more from their pitchers right now. After a winless road trip, however, Chicago's hitters have a lot to answer for.

Dustin McGowan outpitched Javier Vazquez in an entertaining duel, and Matt Stairs homered to help the Toronto Blue Jays beat the slumping White Sox 1-0 on Monday night for a four-game sweep.

Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan walked the bases loaded in the ninth inning but got Pablo Ozuna to ground into a 1-2-3 double play to end the game, earning his fifth save.

"It was a heartbreaker," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Everybody got excited a little bit because we finally got something going and all of a sudden, the double play ends it."

It was Toronto's first four-game sweep since May 2003 against the New York Yankees.

McGowan (2-2) gave up four hits in 7 1/3 innings to win for the first time in three starts. He walked none, struck out six and retired 16 consecutive batters during one stretch.

Blue Jays pitchers have a major league-best 1.02 ERA since April 26, helping Toronto win five in a row after losing eight of nine.

"I'm just trying to pick up where the other guys left off," McGowan said. "I don't want to be the one to mess up this string of starts for us."

Stairs hit a leadoff homer in the seventh off Vazquez (3-3), who struck out nine while throwing 120 pitches in 7 2/3 innings.

Stairs was 1-for-29 against Vazquez before taking him deep, and said he was "praying for contact" when he lifted a breaking ball over the wall in right.

"I got lucky," Stairs said. "He threw a curveball and probably wanted to bounce it. He kept it up a little and it was down in that hockey swing."

Outfielder Carlos Quentin said the White Sox know their pitchers deserve better after allowing just seven earned runs against the Blue Jays.

"They've picked us up, kept us in all these games and given us a chance to win," Quentin said. "We want to reciprocate, get them some runs and get them some wins."

Chicago lost twice in Minnesota before coming to Toronto, and has not won since beating Baltimore on April 27.

"The thing that makes me sad is the way we've pitched," Guillen said. "We can't help our pitching staff to win games. They've kept us in games since we left Chicago and it's been one week with the same offense, nothing really getting going."

Monday's loss was Chicago's season-high sixth straight and the White Sox have dropped nine of 12 overall. They've scored nine runs in their past six games and have the American League's lowest batting average at .229.

Guillen tried a new-look lineup Monday, putting Orlando Cabrera in the leadoff spot, bumping Quentin to second and dropping Nick Swisher to sixth. It didn't help, as Chicago continued to struggle with men on base. The White Sox are 7-for-61 (.115) with runners in scoring position over the past nine games.

"We've got to keep moving forward and expect the next day to be better than the one before, expect the next day to be a hot day where everyone hits well," Quentin said. "We know we have the potential to do some things offensively."

Juan Uribe's single and Toby Hall's double put runners at second and third with none out in the third, but Cabrera grounded out, Quentin flied out and Jim Thome struck out swinging.

Those were the first three in a stretch of 16 consecutive outs by McGowan, who didn't allow another baserunner until Uribe's broken-bat single with one out in the eighth.

McGowan turned it over to Jesse Carlson, who hit pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski with a pitch to put runners at first and second. Shawn Camp replaced Carlson and got Cabrera to ground into a fielder's choice, then retired Quentin on a fly to left.

Vazquez lost for the first time in five starts at Rogers Centre, allowing eight hits and walking one.

Toronto, which came in with the third-fewest runs in the AL (130), couldn't get much going against Vazquez.

Shannon Stewart hit a one-out single in the fourth and went to third on Scott Rolen's single, but Rolen was tagged out after getting hung up between first and second. Stairs grounded out to end the inning.

Stewart hit a two-out triple in the fifth, but Rolen grounded out.

In the seventh, Stairs drove a 1-2 pitch into the right-field bullpen for his fourth home run.

Notes

  • Ozuna started for 3B Joe Crede, who was scratched with a migraine.
  • Ryan, who had elbow ligament replacement surgery last May, has been cleared to pitch in consecutive games.
  • Vazquez has lost four of his past six decisions against Toronto.
  • Chicago optioned LHP Adam Russell to Triple-A Charlotte after the game, clearing a roster spot for Alexei Ramirez, who is expected to be activated from the restricted list when the team returns home Tuesday. Ramirez, a Cuban defector, did not travel to Toronto because his work visa does not allow him to re-enter the United States.
 
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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The White Sox can't figure out any of McGowan's secrets as they only manage four hits against him.  (AP)
The White Sox can't figure out any of McGowan's secrets as they only manage four hits against him. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

D. McGowan
IP 7.1
H 4
ER 0
BB 0
K 6
Chicago

J. Vazquez
IP 7.2
H 8
ER 1
BB 1
K 9
 
Chicago White Sox
Orlando Cabrera, SS4000003 .213
Carlos Quentin, LF4000004 .271
Jim Thome, DH4010022 .215
Paul Konerko, 1B3000121 .227
    Brian Anderson, PR0000000 .281
Jermaine Dye, RF3000100 .253
Nick Swisher, CF3000110 .204
Pablo Ozuna, 3B4000011 .172
Juan Uribe, 2B3020000 .181
Toby Hall, C2010000 .286
   a- A.J. Pierzynski, PH-C0000000 .273
Totals3004036  
a-hit by pitch for Hall in the 8th
Batting
2B - Toby Hall (1, McGowan)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Carlos Quentin 1
DP - Konerko-Cabrera
Chicago White Sox
Javier Vazquez (L,3-3) 7.2811191 3.30
Matt Thornton 0.1000010 3.65
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 121-81, Matt Thornton 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 7-5
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 30, Matt Thornton 1
Toronto Blue Jays
Alex Rios, RF4000030 .300
Shannon Stewart, LF4030000 .257
Scott Rolen, 3B3010101 .273
Matt Stairs, DH4111023 .307
Vernon Wells, CF3010010 .274
Lyle Overbay, 1B3000011 .252
Aaron Hill, 2B3010011 .266
Gregg Zaun, C3010022 .263
David Eckstein, SS3000001 .239
    John McDonald, SS0000000 .143
Totals30181110  
Batting
2B - Vernon Wells (5, Vazquez), Aaron Hill (10, Vazquez)
3B - Shannon Stewart (2, Vazquez)
HR - Matt Stairs (4, Vazquez)
RBI - Matt Stairs (9)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Ryan-Zaun-Overbay
Toronto Blue Jays
Dustin McGowan (W,2-2) 7.1400060 2.95
Jesse Carlson0000000 1.23
Shawn Camp (H,3) 0.2000000 0.00
B.J. Ryan (S,5) 1000300 0.00
HBP - Pierzynski (by Jesse Carlson)
Pitches-Strikes - Dustin McGowan 103-66, Jesse Carlson 4-1, Shawn Camp 2-3, B.J. Ryan 28-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dustin McGowan 11-5, Shawn Camp 1-1, B.J. Ryan 2-0
Batters Faced - Dustin McGowan 26, Jesse Carlson 1, Shawn Camp 2, B.J. Ryan 5
Game Information
Attendance - 16602
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Mike Estabrook