Josh Towers wanted to leave no doubt as to who was in charge Friday night in Baltimore as the Jays right-hander scattered nine hits while going the distance in a complete game shutout. He received more than enough offense to get the job done, and it would all start in the first inning against Daniel Cabrera.
After retiring the first two batters of the game, a throwing error by Melvin Mora that allowed Vernon Wells to reach base, opened the flood gates against Cabrera for the Blue Jays as Toronto would score four times emphasized by a Gregg Zaun three-run home run to right-centre.
Toronto would add another run in the fifth inning when Corey Koskie, who just missed a home run in his first at-bat, took Cabrera deep again, this time out of the yard to left-centre for a solo shot and a 5-0 Jays lead.
On the other side of the ball, the Baltimore Orioles were finding it tough to get anything started against Towers who allowed only three base runners to reach thru the first six innings. The Orioles best chance up until that point came in the third inning where they would get a runner into scoring position at second on a Brian Roberts bunt although Eric Byrnes would fly out to left to end the inning.
With Baltimore unable to mount any offense whatsoever, the Blue Jays continued to roll by putting up a huge sixth inning. Orlando Hudson would double to lead things off, but reliever Eric DuBose retired the next two batters. Vernon Wells would keep things alive with a walk, while Shea Hillenbrand followed with an RBI single. Koskie would walk to load up the bases for Zaun who would slap a two-run double to left that brought home Wells and Hillenbrand. Baltimore would go to the bullpen once again but Alex Rios would drill a 0-2 sinking fastball off of Aaron Rakers out of the yard to deep centre for a three-run shot to make it 11-0 Toronto.
The Jays would add a solo home run from Shea Hillenbrand in the eighth off Steve Kline to increase the lead to 12-0.
Josh Towers who was working quickly and efficiently, entered the ninth inning having only thrown eighty-two pitches. He would run into some trouble by allowing back-to-back two-out singles to Chris Gomez and Javy Lopez. Alejandro Freire would make things tougher for Towers by lining a single to right field that should have scored Gomez from second base, but Alex Rios would launch a strike to home plate to nail Gomez to end the game.
Towers evens his record to (9-9) on the season with Daniel Cabrera (8-11) taking the loss after lasting four innings, allowing five runs, one of them earned, on five hits. The Blue Jays have now won four in a row, the third time they’ve accomplished the feat this season, and will look to continue their current hot streak as they look to make it two in a row against the Orioles Saturday afternoon with David Bush (2-5) on the mound to take on John Maine (0-0) for the Orioles.
The game on Saturday can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet starting at 4:30pm EST with radio coverage on The FAN 590am beginning at 4pm EST.
InsideTheDome’s Game Notes: Blue Jays catcher Gregg Zaun tied a career high with five runs batted in by going 2-for-4 with a double and a three-run home run…Alex Rios is beginning to show his power potential as he’s hit three home runs in his past five games…Josh Towers collected his third complete game of his career by going the distance against the Orioles on Friday.