Buehrle, Blue Jays blank Nationals

Buehrle, Blue Jays blank Nationals

WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg was supposed to pitch on Wednesday, but he was on the disabled list because of a left trapezius strain. Instead, it was right-hander Taylor Jordan who took Strasburg's place in the rotation and the Blue Jays pounded him and the Nationals, 8-0, at Nationals Park.

Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle tossed his second consecutive complete game, and third of the season, by allowing six hits and striking out two.

"That was a masterpiece," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "It seems like whenever we need something, he steps up. Two complete games on this road trip. You look at the career he has, and he's one of those guys that does that kind of thing."

The Blue Jays ended up taking two out of three games in the series, while the Nationals have lost five out of their last six games.

Vintage Buehrle:
Buehrle put the finishing touches on the 10th shutout of his career with a scoreless ninth inning. He's now riding a 17-inning scoreless inning streak and has tossed back-to-back nine-inning complete games for the first time since Sept. 25-30, 2004. Buehrle also became the first Blue Jays pitcher to record back-to-back complete games since Roy Halladay in 2009. Buehrle has complete games in three of his last four starts and it's safe to say he's back to his old form after a rough first month of the year. More >

Buehrle notches shutout

Breaking it open early: The Blue Jays had a rude welcome for Jordan in the first inning as they began the game with their first four batters reaching base. Jose Bautista, Chris Colabello and Kevin Pillar had RBI singles while Justin Smoak drove in another run on a grounder to first base. Toronto scored four runs before it was all said and done, which was more than enough run support for Buehrle to cruise through his outing. More >

Bautista's RBI single

Jordan replaces Strasburg: Jordan had an outing that he would like to forget, allowing seven runs in six innings. A bright spot for Jordan came in the third inning when he struck out the side. More >

Jordan whiffs Donaldson

Not much offense for Washington: The Nationals collected six hits against Buehrle. Bryce Harper collected two of the hits -- a single to left and a double to right field. His batting average is now at .335. Yunel Escobar also had two hits for the Nationals.

"He is under 100 pitches, complete game, 2 1/2 hours. You can pretty much chock it up every time when he's on," said Ian Desmond, who went 1-for-4 against Buehrle. "He works the corners. He pitches to your weaknesses. [The Blue Jays] play well behind him because he is working really quick. He has been doing it for a long time."

"I'm accustomed to it and he's just so, so fun to watch. It's amazing, he throws one ball on the black, and then he goes a little bit farther … he'll bring it back a little bit, then he'll bust you in. He's so easy to catch. He's one of the easiest guys I've ever caught in my life." -- Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro, on Buehrle

Colabello extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI single in the first inning. That's the longest of his career and the longest active streak in the Major Leagues.

Colabello's RBI single

The Nationals have lost five out of six games. During this span, the Nationals are hitting. 222 with a home run, 14 RBIs and a .295 on base percentage.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons won his challenge in the bottom of the first inning on a close play at first base. Buehrle grabbed a little dribbler up the first-base line and made a toss to Justin Smoak, but Denard Span was called safe by umpire Larry Vanover. Gibbons asked for a review and following a brief delay, the ruling on the field was overturned.

Force play at first overturned

Blue Jays: Toronto will take the day off on Thursday as it recovers from a six-game road trip through Minnesota and Washington. On Friday night, the Blue Jays will open a three-game series against the Astros at 7:07 p.m. ET when rookie right-hander Aaron Sanchez takes the mound. Sanchez is coming off a strong month which saw him allow two earned runs or less in all but one of his six starts.

Nationals: The Nationals face the Cubs in a four-game series starting Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez is on the mound for the opener. He will face Chicago for the seventh time in his career. He is 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA against the Cubs. In his last four starts, Gonzalez has a 6.65 ERA.

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.