Baseball Roundup: A look at Saturday’s games

Rather than stay cautious, Brandon Morrow attacked one of the best offences in the National League.

The move paid off as the Toronto starter used every type of pitch he can throw, Jose Molina homered and the Blue Jays won 4-0 to keep the Cincinnati Reds winless in interleague play.

Morrow (3-4) gave up five hits in 6 2-3 innings, two of them by Jay Bruce. He threw first-pitch strikes to 22 of the 26 batters he faced, using his slower curve and change-up to complement the hard fastball and slider that are usually his best pitches.

“I got ahead with the curveball or the change-up,” Morrow said. “It wasn’t necessarily great results, but I put it in their heads that I’ve got those, too.”

He made a handful of runs stand up.

“When we scored, he went out and continued to put up zeros,” manager John Farrell said. “That’s a huge momentum keeper.”

Jose Bautista also had a pair of hits, including an RBI single off Edinson Volquez (5-7), who lost for the first time since he returned from a fine-tuning stint in the minors.

Cincinnati fell to 0-5 against the American League this season. The Reds were swept in Cleveland last month.

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“It’s like we take two steps forward and one back,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Now we’ve got to start moving forward tomorrow. The thing is, we’ve got to figure out these American League teams.”

Elsewhere in baseball it was: Colorado 5, Detroit 4; Chicago White Sox 6, Arizona 2; St. Louis 5, Kansas City 4; Minnesota 1, San Diego 0; Milwaukee 4, Boston 2; Tampa Bay 7, Florida 4; New York Mets 6, Los Angeles Angels 1; Cleveland 5, Pittsburgh 1; Texas 5, Atlanta 4; New York Yankees 4, Chicago Cubs 3; Washington 4, Baltimore 2; Philadelphia 5, Seattle 1; and Oakland 4, San Francisco 2.

In the lone National League game, Houston hammered the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-0.

At Cincinnati, the Blue Jays got their second combined shutout of the season – they also blanked Minnesota 2-0 on May 13. The Reds were shut out for the third time.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto of Toronto received the Lou Marsh Trophy on the field before the game, honouring him as Canada’s top athlete in 2010.

Votto won the National League’s MVP last season and led the Reds to their first division title and playoff appearance in 15 years. He grew up a fan of the Blue Jays, but is having a tough time against them, going 0 for 8 while getting the ball out of the infield only once.

It’s the first time Votto has failed to reach base in back-to-back games since August 2009.

He’s not the only part of the NL’s most prolific offence struggling against Blue Jays pitchers. Cincinnati has scored two runs in the series, both on homers.

Morrow wanted to rebound from his dreadful start a week earlier, when he allowed a career-high nine runs in only 4 1-3 innings of a 16-4 loss to Boston. Morrow left with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh. Jason Frasor got pinch-hitter Edgar Renteria to fly out.

The Blue Jays got a run in the third, but could have had more.

Yunel Escobar doubled to start the third. Corey Patterson pulled a drag bunt toward first, and Volquez fielded and threw wildly to first for an error that let Escobar round the bases. The ball bounced over the rolled-up tarp down the line, briefly disappeared behind it, then rolled out the far end.

Patterson thought the ball was dead, slowed on his way to third base and was tagged out. Farrell came onto the field to question the decision, which was upheld after a brief conference by the umpires.

Molina homered off the facing of the upper deck in left field to open the fourth. Rajai Davis then tripled and scored on Jayson Nix’s sacrifice fly. Bautista singled home a run in the fifth that made it 4-0, getting a ground ball through Cincinnati’s pronounced infield shift – three fielders between second and third.

Yankees 4, Cubs 3

At Chicago, Curtis Granderson hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and Brett Gardner made a terrific play in the outfield to lead the New York Yankees to a victory over the Cubs.

At Seattle, Shane Victorino finished a single shy of the cycle and drove in a season-high four runs, and Philadelphia beat Felix Hernandez.

At Minneapolis, Scott Baker struck out 10 over eight dominant innings and Danny Valencia homered to lift surging Minnesota.

At Washington, Michael Morse put the Nationals ahead with a sixth-inning homer, Ryan Zimmerman also connected and Washington won its eighth straight.

At Boston, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart homered on consecutive pitches in the first inning to help Milwaukee spoil Jon Lester’s bid to become the majors’ first 10-game winner.

At Cleveland, Carlos Carrasco took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and won his third straight start for the Indians.

At St. Louis, Matt Holliday hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning that helped the Cardinals snap a season-high seven-game skid.

At Atlanta, Adrian Beltre drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the 10th inning and Texas got a rare one-run road win.

At St. Petersburg, Fla., Alex Cobb pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Johnny Damon hit his 500th double and Tampa Bay beat sliding Florida.

At New York, Mike Pelfrey pitched his first complete game in nearly three years, Carlos Beltran hit a mammoth home run and the Mets handed Dan Haren a rare beating.

At Phoenix, John Danks came up smiling after taking a line drive to the head and pitched the White Sox to a win over Arizona.

At Denver, struggling ace Ubaldo Jimenez pitched five solid innings before leaving with a right calf cramp and had a two-run single for his first hit of the season to help Colorado beat Detroit.

At Oakland, Calif., Hideki Matsui had two hits and two RBIs to help the Athletics beat the San Francisco.

At Los Angeles, Wandy Rodriguez pitched six gritty innings in his second straight scoreless outing and Houston beat the fading Dodgers.

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