The Blue Jays received stellar efforts from a number of pitchers at several levels of the organization last night.
The major league team, of course, overcame a rare blown save by Casey Janssen to outlast Texas 4-3 in a club-record tying 18 innings. The bullpen, which has been lights out of late, blanked the Rangers through the extra frames, receiving strong efforts from recent call-ups Dustin McGowan, Juan Perez, and Neil Wagner.
In the minors, Lansing righthander Kramer Champlin took a perfect game into the bottom of the 7th, as the Lugnuts blanked West Michigan in both ends of a doubleheader. Champlin, making just his first start of the season as the club faced a pair of twin bills this weekend, lost his bid for perfection when Shortstop Emilio Guerrero got caught on an in-between hop on a ball hit by West Michigan's Devon Travis which was ruled a hit.
Undaunted, Champlin struck out Jeff Holm looking to finish with a one-hitter. He finished with a season high 10 strikeouts. Taken by the Jays in the 33rd round of the 2011 draft from Weetern Nevada JC, Champlin has pitched mostly out of the bullpen since turning pro. He pitched with Lansing last year, posting a 4-1 record with a 4.09 ERA.
In the opening game, starter Ben White blanked the Whitecaps 3-0. White gave up 5 hits, walked only 1, and struck out 7, and evened his record for the season at 3-3.
And at New Hampshire, lefthander Sean Nolin picked up where he left off before making a start for the parent club in May, as the Fisher Cats defeated Erie, 6-2. Nolin, who lasted only an inning and a third in his big league debut against the Orioles, was roughed up by Binghamton in his return to the Eastern League, but showed a solid return to season form against the Sea Wolves. Nolin pitched 6 innings, allowing 3 hits, 2 runs (only 1 earned), didn't walk a batter, and struck out 9, getting the win. For the season, Nolin is 3-1, with a 2.87 ERA. In 31 innings since being activated from the DL at the start of May, Nolin has struck out 35, with a 1.26 WHIP. Eastern League batters are hitting .254 against him.