McGowan is penciled in as Toronto's third starter, which lines him up as the probable pitcher for the Blue Jays' April 3 pairing with the Yankees in New York for the third game of the regular season. Instead of giving the Yankees a preview, the Jays opted to have McGowan start in a Minor League game on Saturday.
McGowan took the hill at the Bobby Mattick Training Center -- Toronto's Minor League complex -- and got his work in against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, who are Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate. In six innings, McGowan gave up two runs, including one earned, on three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.
McGowan, who went 12-10 with a 4.08 ERA in 27 starts last season for Toronto, will have one more tuneup start before the regular season. McGowan's next scheduled turn comes on March 27, when the Blue Jays host the Astros in a 1:05 p.m. ET game at Knology Park in Dunedin, Fla.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.