Blue Jays' Romero gets first career shutout, stays unbeaten in last five starts

TORONTO -- Ricky Romero decided to try a simpler approach after struggling in his previous start.

The result was his first career shutout.

Romero struck out 12 while throwing a five-hitter, Jose Bautista hit two home runs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 6-0 on Saturday.

"It was one of those days where everything was just falling," Romero said. "I located my fastball and my cutter, my changeup and my curveball were all where I wanted the whole day."

Romero was coming off a disappointing outing against the Chicago White Sox last Sunday, when he issued a season-high five walks while allowing four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

He sure turned it around in a hurry.

"My pitches sometimes have a lot of action and we just went back to throwing it down the middle and just letting it work," the left-hander said. "I wasn't going to try to overpower anyone, I was just going to go out there and pitch my game and that's what I did."

Romero (4-1) allowed just five singles and walked one. He lowered his ERA to 2.88 and matched his career best for strikeouts while extending his unbeaten streak to five starts.

"He used his pitches, changed speeds, moved the ball around," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We just couldn't get anything going on him."

Michael Young, who struck out three times, said Romero's changeup was his best pitch.

"It has kind of a split action too it," Young said. "It's not a straight change, it kind of has a little dive down in the zone. It's a good pitch, it's a plus pitch for him and you could tell he really had a lot of confidence in it."

The multihomer game was Bautista's second of the season and No. 4 for his career. He went 3 for 4 with five RBIs.

Bautista led off the fifth with his eighth homer, a drive to left on an 0-1 pitch from Scott Feldman (1-4). He hit a two-out RBI single in the sixth and a three-run drive off Darren O'Day in the eighth.

The crowd of 15,945 stood and cheered as Romero faced Nelson Cruz with two out in the ninth. Cruz and Washington argued with plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after he called strike two. Cruz grounded out to third on the next pitch.

"I wasn't arguing balls and strikes, I was arguing [Wendelstedt] taking his mask off and getting in Cruz's face," an angry Washington said. "All of a sudden [Cruz] can't say anything? Now he wants to get antagonistic and pull his mask off. All off a sudden they're control freaks."

Romero kept the ball from Cruz's groundout and said he would give it to his mom, Sandra.

"For it to be the first one of my career, it means a lot," Romero said. "I wasn't able to get one for Momma last week. I got to pitch on Mother's Day and I told her 'I owe you one.' This is definitely for her."

The Rangers lost back-to-back games for the first time since May 4 and 5 at Oakland.

"Romero threw a real good game," Feldman said. "One run would have been enough for him today the way he was throwing."

Feldman, who is winless in his last six starts, allowed five runs and nine hits in 7 1/3 innings.

"I threw better than my last few," Feldman said. "Hopefully I can just build on this one and keep rolling."

Adam Lind also had an RBI single in the first for Toronto, which finished with 10 hits.

Game notes
Texas recalled RHPs Guillermo Moscoso and Pedro Strop from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned RHP Doug Mathis and OF Craig Gentry to its top farm club. ... Toronto OF Travis Snider (right wrist) got the day off. With Snider out, Fred Lewis made his first start in right field. ... Rangers SS Elvis Andrus went 0 for 4, ending his hitting streak at 14 games. ... Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler did not start, but came on as a pinch hitter in the eighth. ... The Rangers were shut out for the first time this season. Only the Florida Marlins and Los Angeles Angels have not been shut out. ... The Blue Jays have won 10 of 13.