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Toronto at Chicago

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Toronto (30-26) «0000110024131
Chi. White Sox (31-25)000000000021

Jays' Morrow earns third shutout of '12

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Brandon Morrow's previous start was a painful one. He took a line drive off his leg and had to be helped off the field.

A week later, he hopped back on the mound and showed no adverse effects.

Morrow pitched a two-hitter for his third shutout this season, most in the majors, and the Toronto Blue Jays got home runs from Jose Bautista and Rajai Davis in a 4-0 victory against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

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"It felt fine for a few days. It's just sore to the touch. It doesn't hurt to move. There was no hesitation," Morrow said about his leg.

Against Baltimore a week earlier, Morrow took a liner off the bat of Wilson Betemit in the seventh inning. After X-rays showed no major injury, it was determined it was just a bruised right shin. And the right-hander wasn't worried Wednesday night about another hard-hit ball coming at him through the box.

"There's that chance every time you take the mound. That's not something you think of. If it happens, it happens," he said. "I've been hit a few times."

Morrow (7-3) allowed singles in the second and eighth to A.J. Pierzynski and retired 14 straight at one point. He gave up his only two walks in the ninth -- to Adam Dunn and Alejandro De Aza -- and struck out five, including Dayan Viciedo to end it.

"It was mainly all fastball, slider. I threw a few changeups to the left-handers, trying to keep them honest," Morrow said. "When I have fastball command down to both sides of the plate, that's when I've been at my best, and that's what I had tonight."

He faced a White Sox lineup without star Paul Konerko, who sat out a second successive game after having a bone chip flushed out of a joint in his left wrist. Chicago's first baseman has missed three games in a row overall after having the day off to rest last Sunday. Konerko said he hopes to play Thursday night when the White Sox try to avoid a three-game sweep.

"It's just one of those days when you run into a guy that puts it to you and just overmatches you," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said of Morrow's performance, one that followed a strong effort Tuesday night by Ricky Romero in the Blue Jays' 9-5 win.

After the two losses, Chicago's lead in the AL Central has been trimmed to a half-game over Cleveland.

"Guys throw like that, like the last two nights, and it's tougher. It's just the way it goes," Ventura said. "You just put it behind you."

After Pierzynski's second single in the eighth and with the White Sox down 2-0, pinch-runner Brent Lillibridge was easily thrown out trying to steal second with no outs.

"It kills their rally there," Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia said. "I was fortunate to get a good pitch to throw on. Right out of the hand I knew I had a good throw on the way. It was a big out."

Chicago starter Jose Quintana (1-1) gave up nine hits and two runs in six innings. He was making his first start since being ejected in the fourth inning against the Rays a week ago for throwing behind Ben Zobrist.

Quintana has pitched well while filling in for John Danks, on the disabled list with a strained shoulder.

"He's proved he can pitch up here," Ventura said.

The Blue Jays snapped a scoreless tie in the fifth when Davis just beat a throw to first as the White Sox were trying to turn a double play. He stole second and scored when Colby Rasmus -- who was 5 for 5 in the series opener -- lined an RBI single to left before being thrown out trying to stretch it to a double.

Leading off the sixth, Bautista hit a 3-2 pitch halfway up the left-field bleachers for his 15th home run of the season to give Morrow a two-run cushion. Davis added a two-run shot in the ninth, his fourth of the season, off Hector Santiago.

Notes

  • Chicago backup catcher Tyler Flowers replaced Konerko at first. Flowers started two games there last season.
  • Danks threw a pain-free bullpen session of 30-40 pitches and said he'll probably pitch one rehab game next week before coming off the DL and returning to the rotation.
  • Blue Jays DH Edwin Encarnacion (right wrist) remained out of the lineup for the second successive game. He was hit in the wrist by a pitch Sunday.
  • Yan Gomes was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas and put in the lineup at first base. It is his second stint with Toronto this season. He was robbed of a hit in the second inning on a diving stab by White Sox third baseman Orlando Hudson.
 
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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Brandon Morrow, who had only one shutout in his previous five seasons, allows only two hits and two walks.  (US Presswire)
Brandon Morrow, who had only one shutout in his previous five seasons, allows only two hits and two walks. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Toronto

B. Morrow
IP 9.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 2
K 5
Chicago

A. Pierzynski
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brett Lawrie, 3B5010004 .286
Colby Rasmus, CF4011002 .247
Jose Bautista, RF4111114 .228
J.P. Arencibia, C5020021 .234
Yunel Escobar, SS4010002 .252
Kelly Johnson, 2B3010110 .251
Yan Gomes, 1B4000014 .192
David Cooper, DH4030000 .366
    Mike McCoy, PR-DH0100000 .000
Rajai Davis, LF4232001 .253
Totals37413425  
Batting
HR - Jose Bautista (15, Quintana), Rajai Davis (4, Santiago)
RBI - Colby Rasmus (25), Jose Bautista (40), Rajai Davis 2 (13)
2-OUT RBI - Colby Rasmus (10)
SB - Rajai Davis 2 (12, 2nd base off Quintana/Pierzynski, 2nd base off Quintana/Pierzynski)
CS - Brett Lawrie (5, 2nd base by Quintana/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Kelly Johnson (7, Misplayed grounder)
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brandon Morrow (W,7-3) 9200250 2.90
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Morrow 119-78
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Morrow 12-10
Batters Faced - Brandon Morrow 31
Chicago White Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alejandro De Aza, CF3000110 .296
Gordon Beckham, 2B4000001 .228
Adam Dunn, DH3000100 .219
Dayan Viciedo, LF4000023 .265
Alex Rios, RF3000011 .289
A.J. Pierzynski, C3020000 .303
    Brent Lillibridge, PR-1B0000000 .192
Alexei Ramirez, SS3000001 .217
Tyler Flowers, 1B-C3000010 .211
Orlando Hudson, 3B3000000 .198
Totals2902025  
Batting
CS - Brent Lillibridge (2, 2nd base by Morrow/Arencibia)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Dayan Viciedo 1
DP - A. Ramirez-Flowers, Hudson-Beckham-Flowers
E - Alex Rios (2, Dropped fly)
Chicago White Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jose Quintana (L,1-1) 6922111 2.05
Nate Jones 0.2200010 1.57
Will Ohman0000000 5.40
Jesse Crain 1.1000020 2.08
Hector Santiago 1222111 4.35
HBP - Rasmus (by Will Ohman)
WP - Jose Quintana (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Quintana 92-59, Nate Jones 12-7, Will Ohman 3-2, Jesse Crain 24-19, Hector Santiago 31-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Quintana 7-6, Jesse Crain 2-1
Batters Faced - Jose Quintana 24, Nate Jones 4, Will Ohman 1, Jesse Crain 5, Hector Santiago 6
Game Information
Attendance - 25672
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Victor Carapazza, Third Base - Jim Joyce