It may not have lasted long, but the losing streak is over: the Blue Jays have won. Rolling over the Pirates by a score of 12-0, Toronto capitalized on sloppy defense and poor pitching to score early and often for the first spring victory.
Playing at the newly renamed LECOM Park (titled after the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, as Mike Wilner will not let you forget), pitching was strong for the Blue Jays. Shutting out the Pirates, Lucas Harrell, who earned the win, started the game, followed by Casey Lawrence, Glenn Sparkman and Wil Browning. Jeff Beliveau, after initially struggling in Saturday’s game, allowed two base runners in the sixth but got out of the inning with help from two strong defensive plays and a good array of pitch speeds. John Stilson, Josh Grube and Chad Girodo completed the shutout for Toronto.
Offensively, this was Toronto’s strongest game of the spring so far (not saying much there). The first three runs of the game were scored on a double from Gregorio Petit and single from Kendrys Morales in the third. In the sixth, following two errors on one play, Dwight Smith Jr. singled in two runs to make the score 5-0. In the next inning, following a RBI single from Mike Ohlman, Josh Palacios launched a two run home run, the first of his professional career, to make the score 8-0. Later, in the ninth, Ohlman, Jonathan Diaz and Matt Dean all went deep to conclude Toronto’s scoring at the final score of 12-0.
Some other notables: Almost all of Toronto’s runs in today’s game came off established major league pitchers, which makes the results seem more symbolic of potential Major League success, which we all know they aren’t. Reese McGuire made his spring starting debut, playing a defensively-strong catcher for the first part of the game.
Tomorrow, the Blue Jays will face a split-squad Tigers roster at 1:07 ET in Dunedin. For Detroit, Rookie-of-the-Year Michael Fulmer gets the start, while Toronto sends Ryan Borucki to the mound. The game, not on Sportsnet or SN590, will be available exclusively on MLB.com and through the MLB At Bat app.