McGowan looks to continue hot pace

McGowan looks to continue hot pace

Dustin McGowan has come a long way since the beginning of the 2007 season. The Blue Jays right-hander didn't make the club's starting rotation out of Spring Training but now finds himself opening the second half of the season as the No. 3 starter.

Injuries to A.J. Burnett and Gustavo Chacin, along with the disappointing performances of since-released veterans Victor Zambrano and Tomo Ohka, forced the Jays to start relying heavily on McGowan and other young pitchers. So far, the 25-year-old has responded better than anyone could have thought.

McGowan has thrown a quality start in seven of his 12 outings this season, the highlight coming on June 24 against the Rockies when he was three outs away from recording the second no-hitter in franchise history.

He's also maintained a high level of consistency throughout the season and is 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA over his last three starts. In his Fourth of July outing against the Athletics, McGowan didn't allow a run over seven innings en route to his fifth win of the season.

Japanese sensation Daisuke Matsuzaka will counter for the Red Sox. Dice-K allowed six runs on 10 hits, including a season-high three home runs, in his Sunday outing against the Tigers. This will be the third time this season that Matsuzaka has gotten the call against Toronto.

Pitching matchup
TOR: RHP Dustin McGowan (5-4, 4.65 ERA)
McGowan is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two career appearances against Boston.

BOS: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (10-6, 3.84 ERA)
Matsuzaka is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against the Jays this season.

Player to watch
Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay is hitting .333 (2-for-6) with one home run and two RBIs this season against Matsuzaka.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• RSN

On radio
• FAN 590

Up next
• Sunday: Blue Jays (Jesse Litsch, 1-3, 4.74) at Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 12-2, 3.44), 2:05 p.m. ET
• Monday: Blue Jays (Josh Towers, 4-5, 5.07) at Yankees (Kei Igawa, 2-2, 7.14), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Blue Jays (Roy Halladay, 10-4, 4.66) at Yankees (Andy Pettitte, 5-6, 4.27), 7:05 p.m. ET

Gregor Chisholm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.