|Toronto (79-67) «||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||0||6||12||1|
|Chi. White Sox (81-65)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||0||4||7||2|
Shaun Marcum pitched 7 1/3 strong innings and the Blue Jays scored six runs in the eighth to snap a scoreless tie Thursday night as Toronto beat the White Sox 6-4.
Toronto won three of four at U.S. Cellular Field and went 7-1 against the White Sox this season. The Blue Jays won for the 11th time in 12 games overall to get into the wild-card race.
"We've played well since the All-Star break, even against our division," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said after his team moved within 6½ games of Boston for the AL wild card with four games at Fenway Park beginning Friday.
"You look back and there were some games we should have won and some we should have lost," Gaston added. "I think they're enjoying it and having a great time."
Chicago, which has dropped four of five, remained one game ahead of the Twins in the AL Central. Minnesota lost to Kansas City 3-2.
"We have the type of team that can win seven in a row, six in a row, but we have the type of team that can lose five or six in a row. That's the way we've played all year long," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Marcum (9-6) took a three-hit shutout into the eighth in his second straight solid start since returning from the minors. He allowed five hits and two runs.
Jim Thome hit his 538th homer off reliever Scott Downs in the bottom of the eighth as Chicago rallied for four runs to pull to 6-4. But B.J. Ryan struck out the side in the ninth, including Orlando Cabrera with runners at the corners to end the game.
"We knew coming in they got excellent pitching, both starting and in the bullpen," Thome said. "They got a nice club. Be glad to kind of move on. They have a nice pitching staff and unfortunately we didn't have a very good series."
Thome's homer was the only one Toronto allowed in the four-game set -- and the White Sox lead the majors with 210 homers.
"That's our club, we hit home runs," Thome said. "When you face pitching like this, it's tough. They got guys that throw hard and guys that move the ball around and don't throw the ball straight."
One night after their 10-game winning streak was snapped, the Blue Jays drove White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (15-7) out in the eighth and roughed up the White Sox's bullpen, collecting seven hits in the inning. Five of their runs scored after two were outs.
"It's very important to get back on the winning road and also to win that ballgame out there," Gaston said. "We'll just take it onto Boston and see what we can do there."
After Floyd had allowed just three hits in seven shutout innings, Travis Snider hit a leadoff double in the eighth, Joe Inglett sacrificed and Marco Scutaro delivered his third hit of the night, an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. Alex Rios and Vernon Wells followed with singles to load the bases and finish Floyd.
Lefty Matt Thornton relieved and struck out Adam Lind, but Lyle Overbay hit a two-out, two-run single up the middle and the Blue Jays were up three. Ehren Wasserman replaced Thornton and quickly gave up an RBI double to Rod Barajas and a two-run single to Scott Rolen.
The White Sox sent Marcum out in the eighth when Uribe and Cabrera singled with one out. Downs relieved and after pinch-hitter Brian Anderson flied out to the warning track in right, Jermaine Dye hit a two-run double and Thome followed with his 31st homer to make it 6-4.
Toronto loaded the bases again in the ninth before Boone Logan struck out Lind.
Floyd, who was 5-0 in his previous eight starts, gave up only two hits in the first six innings and they were both to Scutaro, who doubled in the first and singled in the sixth.
|Shaun Marcum helps Toronto climb within 6 1/2 games of Boston in the wild-card race. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Joe Inglett, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.301|
|Marco Scutaro, SS||4||1||3||1||1||0||0||.269|
|Alex Rios, RF||4||1||2||0||1||0||1||.300|
|Vernon Wells, CF||5||1||1||0||0||0||6||.301|
|Adam Lind, DH||5||0||1||0||0||2||8||.293|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||4||1||1||2||0||0||1||.279|
|Rod Barajas, C||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.250|
|Scott Rolen, 3B||4||0||1||2||0||1||1||.248|
|Travis Snider, LF||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.313|
|Brad Wilkerson, PR-LF||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||.219|
|2B - Marco Scutaro (17, Floyd), Adam Lind (14, Floyd), Rod Barajas (23, Wassermann), Travis Snider (2, Floyd)|
|SH - Joe Inglett (8)|
|RBI - Marco Scutaro (53), Lyle Overbay 2 (68), Rod Barajas (49), Scott Rolen 2 (44)|
|2-OUT RBI - Lyle Overbay 2 (24), Rod Barajas (15), Scott Rolen 2 (18)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Scott Rolen (9, Misplayed grounder)|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Shaun Marcum (W,9-6)||7.1||5||2||2||1||6||0||3.38|
|Brandon League (H,3)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.84|
|B.J. Ryan (S,29)||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||3.00|
|HBP - Pierzynski (by B.J. Ryan)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Shaun Marcum 106-68, Scott Downs 13-6, Brandon League 2-2, B.J. Ryan 25-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shaun Marcum 8-8, Brandon League 1-0, B.J. Ryan 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Shaun Marcum 28, Scott Downs 3, Brandon League 1, B.J. Ryan 5|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||5||1||1||0||0||2||3||.273|
|Dewayne Wise, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.278|
|a- Brian Anderson, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.233|
|Jermaine Dye, RF||4||1||2||2||0||0||0||.296|
|Jim Thome, DH||4||1||1||2||0||2||1||.248|
|Alexei Ramirez, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.298|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.288|
|Jason Bourgeois, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ken Griffey Jr., CF||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.244|
|Nick Swisher, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.223|
|Juan Uribe, 3B||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.247|
|a-flied out for Wise in the 8th|
|2B - Jermaine Dye (38, Downs), Juan Uribe (19, Marcum)|
|HR - Jim Thome (31, Downs)|
|RBI - Jermaine Dye 2 (87), Jim Thome 2 (84)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jermaine Dye 2 (26), Jim Thome 2 (32)|
|SB - Alexei Ramirez (12, 2nd base off Marcum/Barajas)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Dewayne Wise 1|
|DP - Cabrera-A. Ramirez-Swisher|
|E - Orlando Cabrera (13, Throwing), Juan Uribe (8, Throwing)|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Gavin Floyd (L,15-7)||7.1||7||4||4||1||2||0||3.77|
|Pitches-Strikes - Gavin Floyd 86-56, Matt Thornton 9-5, Ehren Wassermann 5-3, Horacio Ramirez 3-2, D.J. Carrasco 7-2, Boone Logan 4-3|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gavin Floyd 14-7, Horacio Ramirez 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Gavin Floyd 31, Matt Thornton 2, Ehren Wassermann 2, Horacio Ramirez 2, D.J. Carrasco 3, Boone Logan 1|
|Attendance - 27170|
|Game Time - 2:57|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi|