A quick lead led to a dominating performance in Josh Towers’ last start for Toronto.
The right-hander will look to give the Blue Jays another strong outing as they wrap up a three-game series with the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels.
Towers had a four-run lead before taking the mound Friday, when he pitched a nine-hitter in a 12-0 win over Baltimore. The complete game was the third of his career and the shutout was his second.
“A guy with Josh’s reputation of throwing the ball over the plate all the time, it can work to his benefit and it can work to his detriment,” catcher Gregg Zaun said. “Tonight, he was able to get quick outs and expand the zone when he needed to.
“That’s the name of the game for him. If he gets ahead, he doesn’t have trouble throwing the ball over the plate.”
Towers, who struck out two and walked none, threw 96 pitches, 69 for strikes.
“They helped out with the pitch count because they swung at a lot of pitches,” he said. “When you throw a lot of strikes and they’re a good hitting team and an aggressive hitting team, that’s what’s going to happen. Some days they hit them right at people and some days they don’t. Fortunately for me and us today, they did.”
Towers has allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his last five starts, going 3-1 in that span.
The Blue Jays beat the Angels 4-3 on Tuesday for their sixth win in eight games.
Los Angeles closer Francisco Rodriguez walked Corie Koskie with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to force in the tying run and pinch-hitter Frank Catalanotto followed with a game-winning sacrifice fly.
Shea Hillenbrand homered for Toronto, who had gone into extra innings in each of their previous three meetings with Los Angeles.
Chone Figgins and Adam Kennedy drove in runs for the Angels, who had their four-game winning streak snapped but remained two games in front of second-place Oakland. Joe Saunders made his major league debut and pitched 7 1-3 innings in place of Paul Byrd, who was held out for precautionary reasons with back spasms.
Saunders, the 12th overall pick in the 2002 draft out of Virginia Tech, was promoted from Triple-A Salt Lake.