It took some determination and grit, but the Toronto Blue Jays finally pulled out with the win against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, making an easy game far more difficult than it should have been.
By the top of the fourth at Dunedin Stadium, the Blue Jays led 6-0, and by the top of the sixth, it was 9-1 for Toronto. What happened in the sixth and ninth innings, however, made it a deceptively close game.
In the sixth, the Phillies scored four runs on two singles, a double and a walk. It all came off of Elvis Luciano, the 19-year-old Rule 5 Draft pick making in-roads at camp. Just a handful of innings later, in the ninth inning, a single, double and home run brought the Phillies to within two runs of the Blue Jays’ once-spacious lead, but MarkLeiter Jr. managed to hold them off.
There was no shortage of offense for Toronto, but Dalton Pompey stole the show. If he has any hope of making the Opening Day roster -- and, less directly, sticking with the Blue Jays organization -- he must impress this spring, and so far, he’s been doing just that. He had two hits -- two doubles, for what it's worth -- in four at-bats, scoring three of Toronto’s eventual nine runs. That brings his spring batting average to .316.
Aaron Sanchez, in just his second start of spring, did more of the same as his last start. He was excellent in 2.2 innings, allowing just three baserunners -- one hit and two walks -- while striking out three.
Tomorrow, the Blue Jays will go up against the Tampa Bay Rays with Clayton Richard on the mound.