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Cincinnati at Toronto

Scoreboard
Cincinnati (36-44)000100000141
Toronto (38-42) «02302000x760

Litsch works eight sharp innings as Blue Jays paste Reds

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Even before the game began, Edinson Volquez knew this wasn't going to be his day.

Volquez was tagged for a season-high seven runs, including two on a home run by Scott Rolen, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-1 on Thursday.

The hard-throwing right-hander, who was 3-0 in his previous five starts, struggled with his command, his footing on the mound and was gone after 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.

"I threw too many strikes in the bullpen," Volquez said. "I don't like that. When I was in the minor leagues, every time I threw too many strikes in the bullpen, in the game it didn't work."

Jesse Litsch (8-4) pitched eight sharp innings for the Blue Jays, allowing one run and three hits to win for the first time since beating Oakland on May 29.

"He was masterful," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He's probably the best No. 5 starter we've seen. He mixed up a lot of breaking balls, cutters and changeups and then he'd catch you looking for that and throw the fastball by you."

Volquez entered with a major league-best 1.71 ERA but saw that rise to 2.08 after giving up five earned runs. He had allowed three runs or fewer in each of his previous 16 appearances this season.

"You knew it was going to happen sooner or later," Baker said. "He's been on a tremendous roll. He didn't have command of his fastball and it looked like their game plan was sitting on his changeup because they hit his changeup pretty good."

The 24-year-old Volquez had no trouble with the bullpen mound, but never got comfortable once he moved to the field.

"I think it was a little bit different," he said. "It was a little high and flat in the front. I didn't like landing on this mound. It made my back tight a little bit on the right side."

The Rogers Centre mound posed no problems for Litsch, who retired the first 10 batters he faced before Adam Dunn's one-out double in the fourth. Dunn went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Phillips.

"I love the mound here," Litsch said. "It's one of the best. It varies wherever you go. Every mound is different."

Rolen connected in the second inning for his sixth homer of the season and third in four games. His RBI double in the fifth made it 7-1.

Toronto is averaging more than six runs per game since Cito Gaston took over as manager last Friday despite getting shut out 1-0 in Gaston's debut.

"We're definitely swinging the bats better," Rolen said. "We've got a nice little thing going here now."

Left-hander Brian Tallet worked the ninth for Toronto.

Sloppy fielding by Volquez helped the Blue Jays add to their lead in the third. With runners at first and second, Alex Rios grounded back to the mound but Volquez threw high to shortstop Jerry Hairston, whose relay was too late to catch Rios.

Vernon Wells drove in a run with a fielder's choice and Lyle Overbay tacked on a two-run single to give the Blue Jays a 5-0 lead.

"With that hit there, we kind of put the nail in the coffin," Wells said of Overbay's single. "Those add-on runs are huge."

The Reds are 15-27 in road games this year. Only Colorado (28) has lost more often away from home.

Hairston batted leadoff and went 1-for-4 in his first start after missing 14 games with a broken left thumb. Infielder Paul Janish was optioned to Triple-A Louisville to make room on the roster.

Notes

  • Ken Griffey Jr., who was the DH all three games in Toronto, will play the outfield Friday and Saturday at Cleveland and DH again Sunday, manager Dusty Baker said.
  • With RHP Shaun Marcum (right elbow) on the 15-day DL, Toronto will promote LHP John Parrish from Triple-A Syracuse to start against Atlanta on Saturday.
 
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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Jesse Litsch retires the first 10 batters and allows just one run for his eighth win. (AP)
Jesse Litsch retires the first 10 batters and allows just one run for his eighth win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

S. Rolen
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Toronto

J. Litsch
IP 8.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 1
K 6
 
Cincinnati Reds
Jerry Hairston Jr., SS4010002 .333
Adam Dunn, LF4120011 .225
Brandon Phillips, 2B3001001 .271
Ken Griffey Jr., DH4000001 .241
Joey Votto, 1B3000120 .284
Jeff Keppinger, 3B3000000 .311
    Javier Valentin, 3B1000012 .220
Jay Bruce, RF3000020 .288
Corey Patterson, CF3010010 .194
Paul Bako, C2000100 .223
Totals3014127  
Batting
2B - Adam Dunn 2 (11, Litsch, Tallet), Corey Patterson (9, Litsch)
SF - Brandon Phillips (4)
RBI - Brandon Phillips (45)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Edinson Volquez (1, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
Edinson Volquez (L,10-3) 4.1675301 2.08
Mike Lincoln 2.2000020 4.58
Jeremy Affeldt 1000000 4.38
HBP - Scutaro (by Edinson Volquez)
WP - Edinson Volquez (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Edinson Volquez 87-46, Mike Lincoln 25-17, Jeremy Affeldt 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edinson Volquez 9-5, Mike Lincoln 4-2, Jeremy Affeldt 1-2
Batters Faced - Edinson Volquez 24, Mike Lincoln 8, Jeremy Affeldt 3
Toronto Blue Jays
Marco Scutaro, SS3100000 .260
Joe Inglett, 2B3110100 .320
Alex Rios, RF4110001 .284
Vernon Wells, CF4212011 .282
Matt Stairs, DH2100211 .255
Scott Rolen, 3B4123003 .274
Lyle Overbay, 1B4012001 .268
Gregg Zaun, C4000003 .262
Adam Lind, LF3000000 .182
Totals3176732  
Batting
2B - Alex Rios (21, Volquez), Vernon Wells (8, Volquez), Scott Rolen (16, Volquez)
HR - Scott Rolen (6, Volquez)
RBI - Vernon Wells 2 (33), Scott Rolen 3 (26), Lyle Overbay 2 (32)
2-OUT RBI - Lyle Overbay 2 (12)
Team LOB - 4
Toronto Blue Jays
Jesse Litsch (W,8-4) 8311160 3.82
Brian Tallet 1100110 2.03
WP - Jesse Litsch (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Litsch 114-77, Brian Tallet 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Litsch 12-6
Batters Faced - Jesse Litsch 28, Brian Tallet 5
Game Information
Attendance - 25129
Game Time - 2:26
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Ed Rapuano