McGowan to start Sunday

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:13 PM ET

TORONTO - Dustin McGowan’s four-plus innings of relief Tuesday has impressed the Jays’ braintrust sufficiently to insert him into the starting rotation for the rest of the season.

He’ll take over lefty Luis Perez’s scheduled start on Sunday against Baltimore. The jays feel that Perez’s destiny is to work out of the bullpen anyway, so with McGowan available this was the logical move.

“I met with Luis to outline our thoughts going forward,” said manager John Farrell. “We’re looking forward to getting (McGowan) back out there. We’ll increase his pitch-count (from 70-75) to 80-85.”

After more than three years on the shelf trying to rehab his right shoulder, McGowan showed remarkable command and control of four pitches, including his 94-m.p.h. fastball.

“The primary goal is to get him through this year healthy and continue to build some pitching backlog,” said Farrell. “Starting Sunday and going forward, he’s in the rotation.

Rasmus time

Colby Rasmus, recovering from a sore wrist, took regular batting practice Thursday and is expected to go out on a one or two-game rehab assignment by the end of the weekend.

“He’s going to get two or three days of good BP here, some work in the outfield,” said Farrell. “To get him some at-bats in a rehab setting would be ideal before he gets back up here.”

Walkin' proud

Eric Thames impressed the manager with his plate awareness in Wednesday’s 11-10 Toronto win.

“I thought Eric’s at-bat was the best at-bat he’s had all year. And it culminated in a walk, not a home run.”

With the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning, Boston leading 8-6, Thames looked at a strike from reliever Daniel Bard, then fouled off a pitch to fall behind 0-2. He fouled off another pitch, looked at consecutive balls, fouled off another, then looked at ball three and then ball four to score Brett Lawrie from third. Jose Bautista’s ensuing walk tied the game before Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run double.


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