Jays starter Dustin McGowan dominated the Mariners on Tuesday, tossing a complete-game five-hitter on his way to handing Seattle a 3-1 loss. After the defeat, McLaren tried to put the Toronto right-hander's performance into words.
"McGowan was good," McLaren said. "He was lighting the gun up in the ninth inning. That was one of the better outings we've seen this year."
Over his nine innings, McGowan stifled Seattle's (32-42) hitters, allowing just one run on five hits. However, what amazed McLaren most was the fact that the Toronto (34-33) starter only got stronger as the night wore on.
"He came out of the gates tonight and he was throwing 97 [mph]," the Seattle skipper said of McGowan (5-4). "Then, when he throws 99 in the ninth, it speaks for itself."
McGowan's only real mistake was an 0-1 fastball to Mariners' right fielder Jeremy Reed, which was deposited into the right-center-field stands. The fifth-inning shot was Reed's second home run of the season.
The Mariners threatened in the sixth inning, when Raul Ibanez led off the frame with a ground-rule double to left field and then advanced to third on an Adrian Beltre groundout. The Toronto starter was able to escape unharmed, though, striking out Mariners second baseman Jose Lopez and inducing a fly ball off the bat of Richie Sexson.
McGowan's strong start managed to overshadow somewhat the performance of Seattle starter Carlos Silva (3-6), who was really only haunted by two pitches over his seven innings.
In the second inning, Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells connected with a 2-0 pitch from Silva and launched it into dead-center field for a solo home run that gave Toronto a 1-0 lead.
While Seattle was able to tie the game at 1 with Reed's fifth-inning home run, Silva gave the lead right back in the bottom half of the inning. The Seattle right-hander allowed a solo shot to former Mariner Brad Wilkerson, which handed Toronto a 2-1 lead.
"It just looked like he had better sink on the ball," McLaren said of Silva. "As the game went on, it looked like his sinker was getting better. He had good location. You take two pitches away and we still might be playing."
The Jays were able to add another run in the sixth inning on a Scott Rolen single to right field. Silva finished the day allowing three runs on nine hits over seven innings. He walked none and struck out three, needing 96 pitches to get through his outing. The three runs that Silva gave up represented the lowest total he has allowed since May 20 -- a span of four starts.
"He's back on track," McLaren said. "The ball had real good sink on it. He had a real good changeup.
"He keeps throwing like that, he's going to be fine and we're going to be fine. It was a well-pitched effort on his part."
Silva on the other hand, was not sure how to gauge his performance on the mound.
"I feel good, but it's hard to say," he said when asked if he felt like he was back to his old self. "It's hard because when you don't win, you don't feel like you did your job. Right now, I don't even know how I pitched. The only thing I got in my mind is that we lost again."
While Silva did earn a quality start, the story of the night was McGowan.
"He didn't miss away," said Lopez, who struck out a season-high three times against to the Toronto hurler. "He put it in the corner [of the strike zone]. He pitched great today.
"He was nasty today."
David Singh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.