Marcus Stroman pitched 4.2 innings and allowed three hits in his final start of Spring Training as the Toronto Blue Jays fell to the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
Stroman cruised through the first four innings allowing just a single hit that was erased on a double play, but gave up a lead-off homerun in the fifth inning to Marcell Ozuna followed by a Jose Martinez single. Pinch runner Randy Arozarena came around to score on a single allowed by Danny Barnes.
The Jays starter struck out six and finishes his Spring with a 3.68 ERA.
The Blue Jays would fight back from the 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the seventh. Mike Mayers walked Kendrys Morales and Teoscar Hernandez hit a triple that was misplayed by centre fielder Adolis Garcia. Hernandez would score on the next hitter when Danny Espinosa singled him home to tie the game.
The tie was short lived as in the next half inning, Seung Hwan Oh gave up two singles, a double and a triple as the Cardinals scored three runs. Oh’s struggles were jarring because the rest of the Jays bullpen - Barnes, Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera, and Roberto Osuna combined for 3.2 innings of four-hit baseball, walking two and striking out six.
The rest of the expected Opening Day bullpen - John Axford, and Tyler Clippard - will likely get into Tuesday’s game.
Hernandez would single home another RBI in the bottom of the eighth, but the Jays could not score him and the game ended at 5-3.
Russell Martin, Morales, Espinosa, and Kevin Pillar were the other starters to get hits in the game. Curtis Granderson, Yangervis Solarte, Justin Smoak, Randal Grichuk, and Aledmys Diaz went hitless, as did prospects Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, and Cavan Biggio.
The Blue Jays wrap up Spring Training on Tuesday night at Olympic Stadium. Joe Biagini, who will start the year in AAA, will get the start for Toronto. Luke Weaver is expected to start for St. Louis. First pitch is at 7:07 p.m. and will be on Sportsnet.