TORONTO -- Aaron Hill and the rest of the Blue Jays' offense may have received the spotlight in Friday's 5-0 win over the Orioles at Rogers Centre, but starting pitcher Shaun Marcum quietly put together yet another solid outing.
Marcum went six innings, allowing only six hits on two walks, with an uncharacteristically high seven strikeouts -- not a bad line by any standards.
But what made Marcum's 11th start of the season and fifth win in the month of May all the more impressive was the fact that the right-hander didn't have his best stuff.
"It was a battle," Marcum said. "I would get ahead with one or two strikes and then I was having trouble expanding and trying to get them to chase pitches. I ended up working to full counts and throwing a lot of pitches."
All in all, Marcum threw 106 pitches, 67 for strikes, in his second-shortest outing of the season. It was a performance manager Cito Gaston dubbed as a testament to the control pitcher's bulldog mentality.
"That just tells you the kind of pitcher he is," Gaston said. "He's a kid that never stops battling out there."
With longtime ace Roy Halladay having been traded to Philadelphia in the offseason, Marcum had some big shoes to fill. Gaston also spoke highly of Marcum's leadership abilities, both on the mound and in the clubhouse.
"He's become a leader in the clubhouse, too," Gaston said. "I think he wants to show by example when he goes out there to pitch, 'Hey, I don't have my good stuff, but I'm going to battle until I get you out here.'"
Though Marcum, who is 5-1 with a 2.59 ERA, may have been considered the de facto ace of the staff to begin the year, he is certainly staking his claim that he is a pitcher who has front-of-the-rotation legitimacy.
Alomar would like front-office job
TORONTO -- It has been six years since 12-time American League All-Star Roberto Alomar has dawned a big league jersey.
While Alomar, who came up just eight votes shy of a first-ballot induction into the Hall of Fame, has enjoyed his short time away from the game, he said he is itching to rejoin the Majors in a different capacity.
"I'm almost ready," Alomar said. "I think after this year I'm going to go up there [to the front office] -- I would love to work for the Blue Jays."
Exactly what position is Alomar looking for?
"Anywhere they need me," he said. "If they need me for fielding, or hitting, or stolen bases -- I think the game of baseball now is lacking the little things, the things that [can be done] to win games. I think I can help them with that, mainly their mind and how to help them win some games."
Although the Blue Jays organization has not offered Alomar any form of long-term position with the club, they did select him to help represent the franchise at the 2010 First-Year Player Draft -- an important event for this young club moving forward.
"I'm real honored," Alomar said. "I always say one day I will work for baseball, and I would love to work for the Blue Jays. For them to invite me and think of me to go there, it is an honor."
Gregg rebounds from tough trip
TORONTO -- After two shaky outings during the Blue Jays' recent eight-game road trip, closer Kevin Gregg appeared to be back on track pitching a scoreless ninth while striking out the side in Toronto's 5-0 win over the Orioles on Friday night at Rogers Centre.
Gregg started the road trip with a routine save May 19 in Seattle. However, the following night the big right-hander coughed up three runs, recording only one out, for his second blown save of the season. Gregg also pitched in a non-save situation May 23 against the D-backs and was tagged for a solo home run by Chris Young, but managed to escape the inning with a double play after walking consecutive batters.
Over the road trip, Gregg pitched 2 1/3 innings surrendering four earned runs on five hits while walking five batters. Gregg had walked only four batters in 19 innings prior to the trip. He seems to have corrected the problem after Friday's walk-free performance.
"You never want to walk anybody," Gregg said. "I don't care if they don't score or not -- you still just don't' want to walk people."
TORONTO -- Jarrett Hoffpauir hit for the cycle for the second time this season, going 4-for-4 and leading Triple-A Las Vegas to a 6-4 win over Tacoma. The 26-year-old second baseman is batting .348 this season with 11 doubles, two triples and eight home runs. ...Vernon Wells hit his 12th home run of the season Friday night against the Orioles, moving him into sole possession of second place on the all-time Blue Jays home run list, passing Joe Carter. ... The Blue Jays have not yet announced a starter for Tuesday's contest against the Rays.
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.