Chris Bassitt pitches 2-hitter to lead Blue Jays past Braves 3-0
TORONTO (AP) — Chris Bassitt tossed the second shutout of his career and the first for the Toronto Blue Jays in almost eight years.
Bassitt pitched a two-hitter, Daulton Varsho hit a solo home run and the Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves 3-0 on Friday night.
Bassitt (5-2) extended his scoreless innings streak to a career-high 20. He struck out eight and walked two in the Blue Jays’ first individual shutout since Mark Buehrle accomplished the feat against Washington on June 3, 2015.
“It just felt like he was in complete control of everything he threw,” Blue Jays outfielder George Springer said of Bassitt, who threw 70 of his 103 pitches for strikes to win his fourth straight decision.
“I just executed a lot better than most nights,” said Bassitt, whose two shutouts are his only complete games in 131 career starts. “We had a really good game plan going in and I pretty much executed it.”
Bassitt’s other shutout came with Oakland on May 27, 2021, when he blanked the Los Angeles Angels. The shutout Friday night was Toronto’s sixth this season.
“He was just on, man,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Bassitt. “We didn’t barrel up too many balls, that’s for sure.”
Blue Jays manager John Schneider came to the mound with two outs in the eighth as the Braves turned their lineup over, but didn’t bring closer Jordan Romano in from the bullpen.
“With the way he was throwing, he deserved a chance to stay out there,” Schneider said of Bassitt.
Atlanta lost a series-opening road game for the first time this season after winning six straight to start the year. The Braves came in with a majors-best 15-3 road record.
Springer had an RBI single in the fifth to drive in the first run of the game for Toronto, which improved to 10-3 at home. The Blue Jays have won six of their past seven north of the border. Their 13 home games this season are the fewest in the majors.
Varsho made it 3-0 with a solo drive off Kirby Yates in the eighth, his sixth. Varsho connected after striking out three times against Braves starter Spencer Strider.
Strider (4-1) lost for the first time in eight starts this season, allowing two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
“He kept us right there,” Snitker said. “It was a very strong outing.”
Strider struck out 12, boosting his MLB-leading total to 79.
“The only trouble we got in was when I started thinking and stopped executing a couple of times,” Strider said.
After striking out in his first two at-bats, Springer opened the scoring with his two-out single in the fifth. When Springer broke for second base on outfielder Eddie Rosario’s throw to the plate, Kevin Kiermaier tried to score from third. Umpire Laz Diaz initially ruled Kiermaier safe, but the Braves challenged and the call was overturned.
Toronto made it 2-0 in the seventh when pinch-runner Nathan Lukes scored on a bases-loaded passed ball by Sean Murphy.
Rosario’s one-out double in the fifth was Atlanta’s first hit of the game, but he was thrown out trying to steal third base.
Later in the inning, the Braves used a pair of hit batters and a walk to load the bases with two outs, but Bassitt got ninth-place hitter Orlando Arcia to foul out.
Blue Jays: RHP Adam Cimber (right rhomboid strain) began a rehab assignment with Class-A Dunedin on Thursday.
Atlanta was held scoreless for the second time this season. The Braves lost 1-0 at San Diego on April 19.
Bassitt’s previous career best scoreless streak was 18 1/3 innings with Oakland in July and August 2015.
RHP Bryce Elder (3-0, 1.74 ERA) starts for the Braves on Saturday against Blue Jays RHP José Berríos (3-3, 4.91).
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