The fans at Ed Smith Stadium were greeted with a spring game featuring what was relatively close to what the Opening Day lineup might look like for Baltimore. On the other hand, the Toronto Blue Jays squad was headlined by likely bench piece Cavan Biggio and his merry band of prospects, invites and minor league depth. Unfortunately for Baltimore, Toronto’s pitching turned in an incredible afternoon allowing just 1 run on 2 hits, all of which coming in the ninth off of Hayden Juenger.
Despite having 9 hits and drawing 5 walks, the Jays were only able to muster 2 runs against Baltimore, leaving 13 men on base. Brantly, seemingly making his case for the third catcher depth position with gusto early this spring, doubled Leo Jimenez in on the 4th of RHP Austin Voth. In the 8th, RHP Josh Dowdy left a ball out over the plate for Phil Clark to hammer to left center field. Biggio continued his nice intro to spring so far with a couple of back to back hits. Vinnie Capra had a pair of hits as well. Lopez, Talley and Jimenez also recorded hits.
The real story for this game is the pitching. Kikuchi continued to build off his strong start with another two innings of hitless work, adding a pair of swinging strikeouts to his total of 7Ks over four innings. He also issued his first walk of the spring.
Zach Thompson, who looked lost against the lowly Pirates followed with two more scoreless innings, striking out the side in the third and getting bad contact outs in the fourth.
The rest of the Jays relievers kept it rolling. Thornton, Fernandez, Peacock and Hernandez all pitched clean innings, with Julian Fernandez striking out the side in the sixth and no walks.
Hayden Juenger ran into trouble in the bottom of the ninth, after getting 2 outs around a Lewin Diaz single which was the Orioles first hit of the game. He was driven home by Heston Kjerstad before Juenger got the final out.
Tomorrow, the Jays will host the Pittsburgh Pirates at home in Dunedin at 1:07PM.