Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Shaun Marcum did his job on Saturday afternoon. Closer B.J. Ryan didn't. And because of that, Marcum had nothing to show for his fine efforts.
Marcum, making his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday, was stellar in allowing only four hits to the first place Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre.
The right-hander pitched seven innings of shutout ball, displaying the form he'd exhibited last summer when he went 12-6, and earlier this season when he was among the AL's ERA leaders.
Lyle Overbay hit two solo homers (!!) and Alex Rios added an RBI double (after homering twice himself on Friday night). The Jays carried that 3-0 lead into the top of the ninth inning.
The ninth turned out to be disastrous, as Ryan, looking for his 28th save, couldn't shut the door.
Ryan hit a batter before giving up a home run. A walk followed, as well as a stolen base, before pinch-runner Fernando Perez, appearing in only his second big-league game, scored on second baseman Joe Inglett's error.
And Marcum's gem was wasted.
For Marcum, it was another fine outing versus the AL East-leading Rays. Prior to Saturday, he'd gone 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in two starts and one relief outing against the AL East leaders.
Last season, Marcum pitched six innings of no-hit ball against the then-awful Rays, but was lifted because he was pitching under a pitch count in his first start of the year.
Saturday's outing was also Marcum's 14th start (out of 23) in which he allowed two runs or fewer, and the third time he didn't allow a single run.