Blue Jays 2, Pirates 1: Brandon Morrow, Baserunning Beat Bucs

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 29: Brandon Morrow #23 of the Toronto Blue Jays keeps an eye on first against the Pittsburgh Pirates in an MLB interleague game on June 29, 2011 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Brandon Morrow looked really, really good to begin this game, and he was getting a bit of help from a big strike zone as well, and it looked like Paul Maholm would have to put up a bunch of zeroes to keep the Pirates in the game. Morrow struck out one batter in the first, then struck out the side in the second, using a 96-97 MPH fastball and a nasty 90 MPH slider/cutter-y pitch. His velocity dipped a bit as the start went on, but still, he looked very tough.

The Pirates managed to put on a fair number of baserunners in the middle innings, though, and it was frustrating to see them not cash in. They put the first two runners on in the fifth, but let the Jays get away with allowing only one run when Matt Diaz ran his way into an out on Ronny Cedeno's RBI single. They also put two runners on in the seventh on walks, but couldn't do anything with them, as Morrow again got three strikeouts in the inning. (He ended up with 10 for the game.) The Bucs also gave up another out on the basepaths in the eighth, when Garrett Jones thought about trying to steal, then slipped as he was heading back to first. It's really hard to score, and win, when you're facing a pitcher who's got you overmatched and you keep running your way into outs.

Paul Maholm was fine, I suppose, although he left several breaking balls up in the zone for the Jays to hit. Toronto got a sixth-inning solo homer from Eric Thames, then an RBI double by Yunel Escobar in the seventh that turned out to be the game-winner.

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