Published January 13, 2015
Melky Cabrera went 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored to carry Toronto's offense, and a combination of four Blue Jays pitchers shut down the Atlanta Braves, 3-0, in a battle of bullpens at Turner Field.
Esmil Rogers made his first start since 2011 and gave the Blue Jays another option in their injury-filled rotation by throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings. The right-hander had made 22 appearances out of Toronto's bullpen this season and tossed 62 pitches Wednesday while allowing three hits and two walks.
"I just tried to make my pitches and give the opportunity to my teammates to win the game," Rogers said. "It feels pretty good."
Juan Perez (1-0) retired all eight batters he faced in his Blue Jays debut and recorded four of Toronto's 11 punchouts. Casey Janssen anchored the relief effort with a perfect ninth to post his 11th save of the year.
Atlanta used four relievers as a result of starter Kris Medlen exiting with a contusion to his left upper calf after being struck by a comebacker.
"I've been hit by a lot of balls in my life...(and) that's probably one of the harder ones I've felt," Medlen said of Emilio Bonifacio's line drive. "I think I knew right away, but I just wanted to at least get through the inning."
Medlen (1-6) was charged with three runs on four hits in two frames and saw his winless streak reach nine consecutive outings.
The Braves earned a split of a two-game series at Rogers Centre Tuesday thanks to Brian McCann's 10th-inning homer, but they had just four hits Wednesday in the opener of another two-game interleague set to lose for the third time in four games.
Cabrera led off the game with a single and keenly advanced to third base when Edwin Encarnacion's blooper into center field fell for a hit. J.P. Arencibia followed with a run-scoring groundout, and Cabrera added a two-run single in Toronto's next at-bat.
Bonifacio singled off Medlen's leg, Munenori Kawasaki worked a walk and Rogers moved both into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before Cabrera's opposite-field line drive plated the two runners.
Rogers escaped Freddie Freeman's leadoff triple in the second when he fielded Juan Francisco's chopper back to the mound and retired Freeman in a rundown.
The rest was up to Toronto's bullpen. Perez stranded two of Rogers' runners in the fourth, Neil Wagner tossed two innings in his first big-league game since 2011 and Janssen stayed perfect in save chances to close out the Jays' third win in four games.
Rogers' previous start came on Sept. 18, 2011 for Colorado ... Rogers was already the 11th starting pitcher used by the Blue Jays this season, two shy of the club record ... Perez picked up his second career win ... Perez and Wagner each had their contract selected from Triple-A Buffalo before the game ... Encarnacion had three of Toronto's eight hits ... Toronto had a streak of six straight games with at least 10 hits snapped ... Jordan Walden, activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, tossed a scoreless inning of relief for Atlanta ... The Braves have been shut out seven times this year ... The Blue Jays have recorded two shutouts.