Tampa Bay at Toronto

Tampa Bay (17-16)000000002240
Toronto (17-18) «00000015x6110

Toronto's Marcum comes within one out of shutout

CBSSports.com wire reports

TORONTO -- Shaun Marcum gave Toronto another outstanding pitching performance and the Blue Jays feeble offense gave the right-hander some runs to work with for a change.

Marcum came within an out of a shutout, Scott Rolen hit a two-run homer and the Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 on Wednesday.

Marcum (4-2) walked one and matched a season-high by striking out nine, allowing two runs in 8 2/3 innings. He won back-to-back starts for the first time this season and lowered his ERA to 2.59.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Marcum was "dominating."

"I can't say it really surprises me anymore," Gibbons said. "He goes out there and gives you some kind of effort every night."

The right-hander got two quick outs in the ninth before Akinori Iwamura singled down the third-base line and Carl Crawford reached on an infield chopper. B.J. Upton followed with a two-run double to center, ending Marcum's chance for his first career complete game.

"That's the first time Gibby has sent me out for the ninth," Marcum said. "I was excited to go back out there and the fans were behind me. I wish I could have got it done."

Scott Downs came on and ended the game by striking out Carlos Pena, who has fanned eight times in his past nine at-bats.

Rays manager Joe Maddon held a closed-door meeting with Pena after the game, urging him not to chase pitches he can't handle.

"I just think he's out of the zone a little bit," Maddon said. "I don't think there's anything wrong with his swing, per se. It's just that he's opening up and swinging at too many pitches."

Dioner Navarro got the first hit off Marcum, a leadoff single in the third, but was thrown out by Alex Rios trying to stretch his hit into a double.

The Rays didn't put another man on base until Upton drew a two-out walk in the seventh. Upton stole second but Pena ended the inning by grounding out.

Leading 1-0 through seven, the Blue Jays broke it open with a bat-around, five-run eighth against three Tampa Bay relievers, giving Marcum a well-deserved cushion.

"It's a little frustrating going out there in the sixth and seventh inning and its still 0-0," Marcum said. "It's nice to get a little breathing room."

Shannon Stewart opened the inning with a walk before Rolen chased Scott Dohmann with a two-run drive to left-center, his second.

Trever Miller came on and struck out Matt Stairs before walking Vernon Wells and giving up a double to Lyle Overbay. Jason Hammel replaced Miller but allowed run-scoring singles to Aaron Hill, Rod Barajas and Marco Scutaro, who was 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Toronto came in having gone 20 games without scoring more than five runs, last doing so in an 11-3 win at Baltimore on April 15. No American League team has had such a streak since the 2002 Detroit Tigers went 24 games without scoring more than five runs.

"It's been a while," Rolen said. "We're still putting some pressure on the staff. It would nice to be a little more consistent through the game and hopefully that's coming."

The Blue Jays have used 29 different batting lineups in 35 games in a bid to spark their stagnant offense.

"The lineup has bounced around a little bit and I'm sure it's going to bounce around a little more," Rolen said. "The idea is to put runs on the board and we haven't done that."

Rays starter Matt Garza (1-1) had to deal with baserunners in four of his first six innings, but didn't give up a run until the seventh, when Scutaro singled home Hill. Garza walked three and only 56 of his 109 pitches were for strikes.

"My ball-to-strike ratio wasn't exactly what I wanted but I got the outs when I had to and made the pitches when I had to," Garza said.


  • Rays LHP Scott Kazmir worked on his mechanics in a bullpen session after struggling in his season debut Sunday at Boston. Kazmir, who suffered a strained elbow in February, allowed four runs in four innings against the Red Sox, but impressed pitching coach Jim Hickey in his session Wednesday.
  • The Blue Jays purchased the contract of INF Jorge Velandia and demoted OF Adam Lind to Triple-A. The move provides cover for shortstops David Eckstein and John McDonald, who were both injured Tuesday. So far, neither has been placed on the DL.
Copyright 2015 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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Shaun Marcum strikes out nine and wins back-to-back starts for the first time this season. (AP)
Shaun Marcum strikes out nine and wins back-to-back starts for the first time this season. (AP)

Players of the Game

S. Rolen
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

S. Marcum
IP 8.2
H 4
ER 2
BB 1
K 9

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Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4110000 .229
Carl Crawford, LF4110010 .280
B.J. Upton, CF3012110 .295
Carlos Pena, 1B4000032 .200
Evan Longoria, 3B3000020 .221
Eric Hinske, DH3000020 .280
Dioner Navarro, C3010000 .353
Gabe Gross, RF3000010 .186
Jason Bartlett, SS3000000 .236
2B - B.J. Upton (7, Marcum)
RBI - B.J. Upton 2 (24)
2-OUT RBI - B.J. Upton 2 (9)
SB - B.J. Upton (6, 2nd base off Marcum/Barajas)
Team LOB - 2
Outfield Assists - Carl Crawford 1
DP - Bartlett-Iwamura-Pena, Bartlett-Iwamura-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
Matt Garza (L,1-1) 6.2611320 4.91
Scott Dohmann 0.1122111 6.14
Trever Miller 0.1122110 5.79
Jason Hammel 0.2311000 5.04
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 106-59, Scott Dohmann 12-5, Trever Miller 19-9, Jason Hammel 24-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 7-9, Jason Hammel 1-0
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 27, Scott Dohmann 3, Trever Miller 3, Jason Hammel 4
Toronto Blue Jays
Alex Rios, RF4010112 .287
Shannon Stewart, LF3100101 .247
Scott Rolen, 3B4122002 .282
Matt Stairs, DH3000122 .295
Vernon Wells, CF3110102 .282
Lyle Overbay, 1B3110111 .269
Aaron Hill, 2B4211002 .258
Rod Barajas, C4021001 .213
Marco Scutaro, SS4032000 .225
2B - Scott Rolen (5, Garza), Lyle Overbay (4, Miller)
HR - Scott Rolen (2, Dohmann)
RBI - Scott Rolen 2 (8), Aaron Hill (14), Rod Barajas (4), Marco Scutaro 2 (10)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Alex Rios 1
Toronto Blue Jays
Shaun Marcum (W,4-2) 8.2422190 2.59
Scott Downs 0.1000010 3.29
Pitches-Strikes - Shaun Marcum 110-70, Scott Downs 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shaun Marcum 12-4
Batters Faced - Shaun Marcum 30, Scott Downs 1
Game Information
Attendance - 19276
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Jerry Crawford, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Kevin Causey, Third Base - Brian O'Nora