Strong finish for Morrow

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:54 PM ET

TORONTO - After struggling through a late-season flat spot, Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow finished with three strong starts, allowing just two earned runs in his final 21 innings for an ERA of 0.86 over that span.

“I talked a lot about finishing strong and I think I did just that with those last three outings,” Morrow said after giving up two earned runs in six innings Wednesday. “I had two wins and three quality starts to finish the year.”

Morrow’s late-season surge sends him into his offseason in a good frame of mind.

“This is something for him to build on into the offseason,” manager John Farrell said. “I think he’s learned a lot about himself this year and we’re going to need him going forward to be the type of pitcher he’s shown these last three starts.”

Morrow had seven strikeouts to run his season total to 203. He joined Roy Halladay, Roger Clemens and A.J. Burnett as the only Blue Jays pitchers to strike out 200 batters in a season

“It was something I was looking to,” Morrow said. “I knew I needed four and I think it led to some of the walks I gave up early in the game. I settled myself down and ended up getting (the 200th) and a few more.”

WHAT MISTAKE?

In the game-winning rally, a sacrifice bunt attempt by Colby Rasmus with runners at first and third with nobody out seemed a flawed strategy.

“We had a safety squeeze on for the first two pitches. We took it off when he got ahead in the count,” Farrell said.

Unfortunately, Rasmus missed that signal.

“It turned out to be a sac bunt,” Farrell said. “They walked J.P. (Arencibia) intentionally and then all of a sudden you put (White Sox pitcher Chris Sale) in a spot where he’s got to throw strikes and we benefited from the wildness.”

Sale walked the next two batters to give Toronto the lead.

GENEROUS UMP

In the fifth inning, the White Sox scored the go-ahead run to break a 1-1 tie on a fan interference play in which Alejandro de Aza was running from first base. Gordon Beckham’s groundball down the left field was touched by a fan but umpire Fieldin Culbreth awarded de Aza home plate.

“It wasn’t explained sufficiently for me,” Farrell said.


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