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Toronto at Atlanta

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Toronto (23-30) «120000000380
Atlanta (31-21)000000000042

Blue Jays shut out Braves; Medlen exits with calf injury

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- The Toronto Blue Jays came up with a winning formula to address their pitching woes.

First, start a reliever. Then, bring in two guys just called up from the minors.

The result was a four-hitter against the Atlanta Braves, who looked downright feeble in a 3-0 loss to the last-place Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

Four pitchers combined on Toronto's second shutout of the season, with Casey Janssen working a 1-2-3 ninth to finish it off.

But the most important work was turned in by the three pitchers who came before the closer.

Esmil Rogers lasted 3 1/3 innings in his first start since 2011. He was followed to the mound by two pitchers called up from Triple-A Buffalo before the game: Juan Perez (1-0), who went 2 2/3 hitless innings with four strikeouts for the win, and Neil Wagner, who got through the seventh and eighth allowing just one hit.

"You tip your hat to those guys," manager John Gibbons said. "They all stepped up, did a great job. Going in, you really don't know what you're going to get out of Rogers, how many innings. And then Perez comes in, shuts them down, then Wagner, against a really good-hitting team."

Janssen got the final three outs for his 11th save.

"It felt good," Wagner said. "I was excited to get the opportunity and hoping to justify their confidence in throwing me out there in a pretty close game late."

Melky Cabrera had three hits, scored Toronto's first run and drove in the other two with a second-inning single.

Atlanta starter Kris Medlen (1-6) failed to last even as long as Rogers.

Medlen took a liner off the left leg in the second and didn't return the next inning because of a contusion to his upper calf. He is expected to make his next start, though his leg was heavily wrapped after the game.

"I've been hit by a lot of balls in my life. That's one of the harder ones I've felt," Medlen said. "I knew right away [that he'd have to leave the game], but I at least wanted get through the inning."

Cabrera led off the game with a single and wound up scoring Toronto's first run on a fielder's choice grounder by J.P. Arencibia. With one out in the second, Emilio Bonifacio lined one off the back of Medlen's leg, reaching on the infield single. The Braves trainer came out, and Medlen walked gingerly around the mound before deciding to stay in the game.

That might've been a mistake. Munenori Kawasaki walked, Rogers bunted the runners over and Cabrera singled to left to drive in two more runs. Medlen finished the frame but was done for the night, having allowed four hits, a walk and all three Toronto runs in the shortest start of his career.

Rogers had pitched 22 games in relief for the Blue Jays this season. He gave them as much as they could've hoped for as a starter, surrendering three hits and two walks before Gibbons lifted the right-hander in the fourth with two runners aboard.

Perez escaped the jam by retiring Juan Francisco on a popup, then striking out B.J. Upton, who has grown so frustrated during a season-long slump that he slung his bat into the dirt and slammed down his helmet with both hands, bouncing it high in the air.

"I've got to try to flush this as fast as possible," Upton said, his voice barely above a whisper after his average dropped to .146. "I don't know what to say. I'm at a loss for words."

Upton had plenty of company in misery. Younger brother Justin fanned three times and the Braves finished with 11 strikeouts on the night, the 24th time in 52 games they've reached double figures in that category. Appropriately, Brian McCann whiffed to end the game.

The Blue Jays made a flurry of moves to deal with their injury-plagued pitching. The 34-year-old Perez wound up getting the win, just his second in the big leagues. The first came on July 8, 2011, with Philadelphia.

"They weren't even through the lineup one time, and all of sudden they're bringing in another guy," said Freddie Freeman, who had two of Atlanta's hits. "It's tough when you don't get to see guys a few times."

After Medlen departed, four Atlanta relievers shut down Toronto the rest of the way. But it didn't matter on an otherwise grim night for the home team, which made two errors and squandered a sure double play when Andrelton Simmons dropped a line drive, though he was able to throw out the hitter at first.

Notes

  • Rogers' most recent start came with the Colorado Rockies in 2011.
  • The Blue Jays left 10 runners on base.
  • B.J. Upton is one of three Atlanta regulars hitting below .200, joined by OF Jason Heyward (.152) and 2B Dan Uggla (.186).
  • The Braves activated RHP Jordan Walden off the disabled list before the game and optioned RHP Cory Rasmus to Triple-A Gwinnett.
  • Wagner made his first big league appearance since working six games for Oakland in 2011.
  • The Braves are going with 11 pitchers but manager Fredi Gonzalez said they may have to consider going back to 12 after Medlen's short outing.
 
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 AL East bottom-feeding Blue Jays make easy work of the NL East-leading Braves. (USATSI)
The AL East bottom-feeding Blue Jays make easy work of the NL East-leading Braves. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Toronto

M. Cabrera
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Toronto

E. Encarnacion
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Melky Cabrera, LF3132100 .292
    Neil Wagner, P0000000 .000
   a- Adam Lind, PH1000001 .302
    Casey Janssen, P0000000 .000
Jose Bautista, RF4000115 .292
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B4030110 .265
J.P. Arencibia, C5001014 .239
Colby Rasmus, CF3000101 .238
Maicer Izturis, 3B4000001 .207
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B4120011 .211
Munenori Kawasaki, SS2100221 .233
Esmil Rogers, P0000000 .000
    Juan Perez, P0000000 .000
   b- Anthony Gose, PH-LF1000100 .267
Totals3138376  
a-grounded into a double play for Wagner in the 9th
b-fouled out for J. Perez in the 7th
Batting
SH - Esmil Rogers 2 (2)
RBI - Melky Cabrera 2 (20), J.P. Arencibia (29)
2-OUT RBI - Melky Cabrera 2 (15)
SB - Emilio Bonifacio (5, 2nd base off Medlen/McCann)
CS - Emilio Bonifacio (2, 2nd base by Carpenter/McCann)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Bonifacio-Encarnacion, Wagner-Kawasaki-Encarnacion
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Esmil Rogers 3.1300240 4.03
Juan Perez (W,1-0) 2.2000040 0.00
Neil Wagner (H,1) 2100020 0.00
Casey Janssen (S,11) 1000010 2.25
HBP - Uggla (by Esmil Rogers)
Pitches-Strikes - Esmil Rogers 62-39, Juan Perez 37-24, Neil Wagner 29-19, Casey Janssen 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Esmil Rogers 2-3, Juan Perez 2-2, Neil Wagner 1-2
Batters Faced - Esmil Rogers 15, Juan Perez 8, Neil Wagner 6, Casey Janssen 3
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andrelton Simmons, SS4010011 .249
Jason Heyward, RF3000101 .152
Justin Upton, LF4000031 .261
Freddie Freeman, 1B4020010 .309
Brian McCann, C3000111 .267
Dan Uggla, 2B2000022 .186
Juan Francisco, 3B3000012 .241
B.J. Upton, CF3000024 .146
Kris Medlen, P0000000 .059
    David Carpenter, P1000000 .000
   a- Reed Johnson, PH1000000 .250
    Anthony Varvaro, P0000000 .000
    Jordan Walden, P0000000 .000
   b- Jordan Schafer, PH1010000 .308
    Cory Gearrin, P0000000 .000
Totals29040211  
a-grounded out for Carpenter in the 5th
b-singled for Walden in the 8th
Batting
3B - Freddie Freeman (1, Rogers)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Uggla-Simmons-Freeman, Uggla-Simmons-Freeman
E - Freddie Freeman (4, Misplayed grounder), Dan Uggla (8, Missed catch of throw)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kris Medlen (L,1-6) 2433110 3.48
David Carpenter 3100410 1.93
Anthony Varvaro 2200020 2.45
Jordan Walden 1000020 4.50
Cory Gearrin 1100200 1.88
Pitches-Strikes - Kris Medlen 38-24, David Carpenter 53-26, Anthony Varvaro 26-17, Jordan Walden 16-11, Cory Gearrin 21-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kris Medlen 5-0, David Carpenter 4-2, Anthony Varvaro 1-3, Jordan Walden 1-1, Cory Gearrin 2-0
Batters Faced - Kris Medlen 11, David Carpenter 12, Anthony Varvaro 8, Jordan Walden 4, Cory Gearrin 5
Game Information
Attendance - 22489
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - John Tumpane