Complete-game win for Morrow
Right-hander tosses three-hitter to start arduous road trip
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Brandon Morrow pitched a three-hitter for his second career shutout and J.P. Arencibia hit a three-run homer to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
Morrow (3-1) won his third straight start, striking out eight and walking none to help the Blue Jays open an 11-game road trip with their fifth win in their last six overall.
Toronto added two more runs on a throwing error by converted third baseman Mark Trumbo.
The only Angels hits were a pair of singles by rookie Mike Trout and a leadoff double in the ninth by Trumbo that ended a string of 14 consecutive batters retired by Morrow.
The right-hander, picked fifth overall in the 2006 draft by Seattle and traded to Toronto in December 2009, has allowed just one run in 21⅔ innings over his last three outings. His other shutout was on Aug. 8, 2010 at Toronto, when his no-hit bid was broken up by Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria with two out in the ninth. Morrow settled for a one-hitter with 17 strikeouts.
Still basking in the afterglow of Jered Weaver’s no-hitter Wednesday night, the Angels were counting on Dan Haren to maintain the momentum. But Haren (1-2), who got his first victory of the season last Saturday at Cleveland, was charged with five runs — three earned — and five hits over seven innings in his sixth start.
Haren gave up a single to centre by Brett Lawrie on his first pitch of the third, ending a streak of 17⅓ consecutive hitless innings by Angels pitchers (54 batters) following Weaver’s gem and Jerome Williams’ complete game shutout in which he no-hit the Twins over the final six.
Lawrie was the first of four consecutive batters to hit safely in the third — in a span of just five pitches. Colby Rasmus bunted his way on before Arencibia, the Blue Jays’ No. 9 hitter, drove the next pitch into the left field bullpen for his second homer of the season. He came in 0 for 9 against Haren.
Trumbo, who made a key defensive play on a bunt to help preserve Weaver’s no-no, fielded a twoout grounder in the hole by Edwin Encarnacion in the sixth and threw the ball into the runner as first baseman Albert Pujols backed off to avoid a collision with Encarnacion. Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar scored on Trumbo’s fourth error of the season.
Pujols’ career-worst home run drought reached 32 games and 133 at-bats after he went 0 for 3, lowering his average to .202. The threetime NL MVP, who signed a 10-year, $240 million contract in December as a free agent, has just five RBIS in 104 at-bats.
Six more at-bats by Pujols without a homer would eclipse Eddie Murray’s 1996 record for the longest home run drought at the start of a season (109) by anyone with at least 400 career homers. Murray finished his Hall of Fame career with 504. Pujols hit 445 over his 11 previous big league seasons — all with the St. Louis Cardinals.