Morrow rebounded from the shortest start of his career, Jose Bautista(notes) homered for the third time in two games and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 5-2 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Toronto turned four double plays and extended its winning streak to four. The game drew 25,518, Toronto’s biggest home crowd since opening day.
Morrow (3-3) allowed two runs and eight hits in six-plus innings and struck out eight. He acknowledged being “just terrible” in his last outing, when he gave up six runs and three hits while matching a career-high with six walks in 1 2-3 innings against Boston.
Marcum noticed Morrow was collapsing on his back leg as he faced the Red Sox and pointed it out after the pitcher was pulled. Along with pitching coach Bruce Walton, they compared video to Morrow’s previous start, and the difference was immediately apparent.
“When I’m really bad mechanically, like I was in Boston, I have a tendency to break down on my back side and become really rotational and spin open,” Morrow said. “Today I was just a lot slower mechanically. To anybody who watched last week and this week, that was probably the biggest difference, staying tall with my body and slowing down my mechanics.”
The difference, Morrow said, was “like night and day.”
“From pitch one I knew things were better mechanically,” Morrow said. “I was able to get on a little bit of a roll and things seemed to be a lot better.”
John Buck(notes) hit a three-run double that put the Blue Jays ahead 4-1 in the fourth. Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston thought the ball cleared the wall in right-center field for a grand slam and came out to argue. Crew chief and second base umpire Mike Winters, who made the original call, left the field for a video review. About a minute later, Winters returned and upheld his original ruling.
The ball, which flew into the shadows before hitting the base of the wall, had plenty of people fooled.
“From my view, I swear it looked like it bounced off the top up there,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “I’m glad that (the umpires) did get a view of it.”
“I turned around and I lost it in the shadows,” Lewis said. “I thought it was gone.”
Buck, meanwhile, wasn’t convinced he’d hit the ball hard enough to get it out, particularly to the opposite field.
“The way it felt on the bat, it didn’t feel like it was a home run,” Buck said. “I wanted the umpire to tell me it was out first, because I didn’t believe it.”
Bautista left no doubt two innings later, chasing Lewis (3-2) with a two-out, solo shot for his 10th home run. Bautista, who hit a solo homer and a three-run shot in Saturday’s 6-0 win, is the third Blue Jay with 10 homers, joining Gonzalez and Vernon Wells(notes).
Lewis has not won in four starts and has received just four runs of support in that stretch.
“I pretty much beat myself,” Lewis said. “That’s basically what it is. I had four walks and they scored five times, which should never happen.”
“I was trying to get something going, hoping Hamilton would make contact but he didn’t,” Washington said. “That’s the way it goes.”
“One inning killed us today,” Washington said.
Hamilton went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. He has struck out nine times in his past 13 at-bats.
NOTES: The Rangers activated INF Joaquin Arias(notes) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Pedro Strop(notes) to Triple-A Oklahoma City. … Texas LHP Matt Harrison(notes) (biceps tendinitis) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session before the game. … Toronto OF Travis Snider(notes) (right wrist) missed his second straight game but could return Monday, Gaston said.