Mark Buehrle tosses CG shutout, Blue Jays thump Nationals 8-0

WASHINGTON — Mark Buehrle threw a six-hitter — his 11th career shutout — and the Toronto Blue Jays scored four runs in the first inning to close the interleague series against the Washington Nationals with an 8-0 victory Wednesday night.

Buehrle (7-4) worked fast and effectively against the NL East leaders, needing only 93 pitches for his first shutout since 2013.

The first four batters reached against Taylor Jordan (0-2), who made his first start this season for the Nationals this season with Stephen Strasburg sidelined.

Jose Bautista, Chris Colabello and Kevin Pillar had RBI singles in the first inning. Bautista hit a solo home run in the eighth. Jose Reyes had three hits and drove in two runs.

Bryce Harper went 2 for 4 with a double. The Nationals outfielder was named National League Player of the Month for May before the game.

The teams split Tuesday’s rain-forced doubleheader with the Blue Jays winning the nightcap 7-3.

Toronto had lost 16 of 21 road games before consecutive victories in Washington.

Jordan allowed a career-high seven earned runs and 10 hits in six innings against the highest-scoring offence in the majors.

Washington put runners on base in each of the first six innings against Buehrle, but rarely threatened, twice hitting into inning-ending double plays. The left-hander walked one and had two strikeouts.

Buehrle’s previous shutout was a two-hitter against Houston on July 25, 2013.

Including the final four innings of Tuesday’s loss, Washington went the last 13 innings of the series without a run.

Buehrle picked up his 30th career win in interleague play, the most among active players, and 206th of his Major League career.

By comparison, Jordan fell to 1-7 in 15 career starts.

Recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on May 24, the right-hander made his season debut in relief of Strasburg on Friday at Cincinnati. Strasburg (neck tightness) was placed on the 15-day disabled list the following day.

Pillar hit two home runs against Max Scherzer in the second game of Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader. Including two singles against Jordan, the centerfielder went 5 for 8 with five RBIs in the final two games of the three-game series.

Harper batted .360 with 13 home runs and 28 RBIs in May.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: Edwin Encarnacion remained sidelined with a left hamstring injury. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the third baseman was available to pinch hit and hoped to use him as the designated hitter Friday against Houston.

Nationals: CF Denard Span went 0 for 4 in his return to the starting lineup after sitting out Tuesday’s doubleheader. Washington’s leadoff hitter left Sunday’s loss at Cincinnati with a sore right knee.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: Toronto returns home for a three-game series against Houston. Aaron Sanchez (4-4, 3.88 ERA) faces fellow RHP Roberto Hernandez (2-4, 4.92) in Friday’s series opener.

Nationals: Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 4.73) faces Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (4-4, 3.18). Washington won two of three in Chicago last month.

Benjamin Standig, The Associated Press