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Romero shuts down Cardinals as Jays complete sweep

Jun 26, 2011 - 11:33 PM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Ricky Romero essentially beat the Cardinals single-handedly with a four-hit shutout and a two-run single, as the Toronto Blue Jays completed their sweep of St. Louis with a 5-0 victory.

Romero (7-7) retired the first 10 batters he faced and allowed only one runner to reach past first base. The left-hander walked two, struck out five and had a two-run hit that highlighted a four-run sixth inning.

The Blue Jays had lost four in a row before taking all three meetings at Busch Stadium, while St. Louis dropped to 3-12 in its last 15 games.

"We're not playing all that well," said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa following his club's sixth shutout loss of the season. "We have to improve our execution."

Cardinals starter Kyle McClellan hung a breaking ball to J.P. Arencibia in the second inning, and the catcher deposited the offering into the left-field seats for his 11th home run of the season.

That was the only mistake McClellan (6-4) made until things fell apart in the sixth.

Singles by Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion had runners on the corners and one out, and Lind slid in safely at home when Lance Berkman threw high to the plate on Corey Patterson's bouncer to first.

After Arencibia was intentionally walked to fill the bags, Romero slapped one the opposite way to right field for his first big-league hit, bringing in Encarnacion and Patterson for a 4-0 lead.

"I'm not a good hitter, so it definitely feels good to help myself out in that situation," Romero said. "I was just thinking he was going to throw me a fastball."

Yunel Escobar capped the inning with an RBI single, and Romero was left to do the rest.

With his pitch count at an efficient 93 heading into the ninth, Romero stayed in to finish off his masterpiece. A Berkman comebacker hit off his right leg with one out, but he remained on the mound and induced a game-ending double- play ball off the bat of Andrew Brown to notch his second career shutout.

Game Notes

Romero has six career complete games, three in each of the past two seasons. He has gone at least seven innings in each of his last nine outings...All five runs McClellan allowed were earned. He gave up eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings...The Blue Jays left 11 runners on base.