Jesse Litsch sucks, at least according to most Jays fans. That’s why he gave up just three hits and no runs over seven innings in his second start since Tommy John surgery against the third-best hitting team in the National League this afternoon, right? Litsch and San Francisco’s Matt Cain matched each other pitch-for-pitch much of the day, but an Aaron Hill two-run shot in the eighth snapped a scoreless tie in an eventual 3-0 Jays win.
Litsch, coming off a beating in his season debut in Colorado last weekend, tossed seven shutout innings before leaving after 94 pitches. He was in control all day, walking none and giving up little flares over the infield for two of the three hits he surrendered, with the other a Pablo Sandoval double with one out in the second. I said it after his first start and I’ll say it again — Litsch is a good pitcher. Not flashy, but two sub-4.00 ERA seasons before the age of 24 is nothing to argue with. I’m glad to have him on the tail end of our strong young rotation the rest of this year.
Shawn Camp, who relieved Litsch, picked up the win by pitching a scorless eighth. Hill’s homer came after Fred Lewis drew a two-out walk, and consecutive singles by Adam Lind, Vernon Wells and Alex Gonzalez brought around another to make it 3-0. Kevin Gregg was flawless in the ninth for the second straight game to grab his 19th save.
The win is the Jays’ second straight against the Giants fourth of five overall, bumping them to 38-31 — only good enough for fourth in the division, but just three-and-a-half back of New York for first. Toronto goes for the sweep tomorrow, but it’ll have to be done against another strong San Francisco starter — Jonathan Sanchez comes in having given up just 59 hits in 81 innings this season and is among National League leaders with a 2.77 ERA. The Jays counter with no slouch of their own in Shaun Marcum (6-3, 3.31).