for this game

Stairs, McGowan lift Blue Jays to eighth straight home win

Aug 5, 2007 - 10:28 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Matt Stairs made sure the home fans had something to cheer about on his memorable day.

Stairs had three doubles and drove in two runs and Dustin McGowan threw eight-plus strong innings as the Toronto Blue Jays posted their eighth consecutive home win with a 4-1 triumph over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

Becoming just the third Canadian player to appear in 1,500 career games, Stairs went 3-for-3 with a run scored and also registered a rare stolen base. The other two Canadians to play in as many games were Larry Walker and Terry Puhl.

"It means I've been around a while and been healthy," said Stairs, who only found out about the milestone just before the game. "I've never been shy about being a proud Canadian and playing for Toronto is a dream come true and a good way to try and finish your career."

McGowan (8-5) gave up one run and eight hits, walking one and striking out six en route to winning his third straight decision.

"He's just coming into his own," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "The stuff's there and he's had a tremendous year. He's got a heck of a future."

By completing its second straight series sweep at home, Toronto has recorded eight straight wins at the Rogers Centre for the first time since April 14-22, 1999.

"It's a different feeling at home. You're more comfortable," said Toronto designated hitter Frank Thomas said. "We definitely have played well at home, but we just have to figure out this road thing."

The contest was tied at 1-1 until the fifth inning when Ray Olmedo led off with a double off Texas starter Brandon McCarthy (5-8). Following a sacrifice by Russ Johnson, Stairs lined a shot through the gap in left field that rolled to the wall and gave Toronto the lead for good.

Stairs, who also doubled in the third, had thought about taking a chance for triple before eventually pulling up.

"It lasted for about two seconds and then I realized I'm 39-years-old," Stairs said.

The journeyman eventually did get to third, as he swiped the base on McCarthy's next pitch. It was just the second stolen base of the year and fourth in the past five seasons for Stairs.

"I told (Toronto third baseman Troy Glaus) after my first at-bat I wanted to steal third," Stairs said. "He was ragging me."

The 16-year veteran added to the lead in the seventh with another run-scoring double before leaving the field to an ovation as he was lifted for a pinch runner.

Vernon Wells' RBI triple in the same frame wrapped up the scoring.

The four runs were more than enough for McGowan, who had a chance for his second career complete game before Brad Wilkerson led off the ninth with a single. The 25-year-old was lifted for closer Jeremy Accardo, who allowed another single before notching his 20th save.

McGowan had an inauspicious start to his 17th start of the season, as Frank Catalanotto drove a 1-2 pitch over the right field wall to lead off the game.

Despite taking him deep, Catalanotto had a great deal of praise for McGowan after playing alongside him here the past two years.

"He's totally different," he said. "We always knew he had the stuff, but now he's putting it together mentally too. It's fun to see because we were all waiting for him to really blossom."

The righthander also gave up one-out singles to Michael Young and Sammy Sosa before retiring both Nelson Cruz and Wilkerson on strikes to avoid further damage.

"It seems like I've been in (trouble) so much that I've learned to pitch out of it," McGowan said.

The Blue Jays managed to tie the score in the bottom half of the first, taking advantage of two walks by McCarthy to tie the score at 1-1 on an RBI single by Thomas.

McGowan settled down thereafter, finishing with 14 ground-ball outs during a 104-pitch outing. He was really only threatened in the seventh, with a single by Catalanotto loading the bases with two outs. However, McGowan got Ian Kinsler to hit a grounder to third baseman Hector Luna, who got the force by stepping on third.

Catalanotto, Sosa and rookie Jarrod Saltalamacchia had two hits each for the Rangers, who completed a 2-7 road.

"It's been a real rough road trip," Catalanotto said. "We're more comfortable in our park, so hopefully we can get back and start playing well."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 0
    TORONTO 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 x 4 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - BRANDON MCCARTHY, FRANK FRANCISCO (7TH), JOAQUIN BENOIT (7TH)
    AND JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA
    TOR - DUSTIN MCGOWAN, JEREMY ACCARDO (9TH) AND GREGG
    ZAUN

    HOME RUNS

    Aug 5 3:45 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY VERNON WELLS SCORED JOHN MCDONALD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, V WELLS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    TORONTO 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.256, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 5 3:13 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MATT STAIRS SCORED REED JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M STAIRS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    TORONTO 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (.301, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 5 3:09 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MATT STAIRS SCORED RAY OLMEDO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M STAIRS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    TORONTO 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (.301, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 5 2:27 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FRANK THOMAS SCORED MATT STAIRS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F THOMAS ON FIRST, A RIOS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    TORONTO 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.275, 11 HR, 58 RBI)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 5 1:30 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 1 1 3 0
    TORONTO 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TEX - BRANDON MCCARTHY
    TOR - DUSTIN MCGOWAN

    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R JOHNSON (.269, 2 HR, 10 RBI)
    M STAIRS (.277, 14 HR, 40 RBI)
    A RIOS (.302, 20 HR, 64 R

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 5 1:17 PM