Blue Jays show off young, promising starters vs. O's
Hutchison strikes out four in two scoreless frames and Stroman fans three
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles came back from a five-run deficit as they plated seven runs in the eighth to top the Blue Jays, 9-7, at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Francisco Peguero cleared the bases with a three-run triple to cap the big frame.
Blue Jays pinch-hitter Dan Johnson went deep off Orioles bullpen hopeful Edgmer Escalona as part of a five-run frame that saw Toronto take the big 7-2 lead early on. The Blue Jays got on the board first when third baseman Jared Goedert singled in Chris Getz, who hit a two-out triple off Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez in the second inning.
It was the only run Gonzalez, expected to be in Baltimore's rotation, allowed over two innings in his spring debut. Steve Johnson followed with six impressive outs, breezing through the third and fourth innings with a pair of strikeouts.
Chris Davis doubled into left-center field to drive in a pair of runs for Baltimore in the bottom of the third inning off righty Marcus Stroman. David Lough, who beat out an infield single, and Nelson Cruz, who walked, both scored on the play. Cruz, serving as the designated hitter in his Orioles debut, grounded out in his first at-bat.
"As soon as I came into the stadium, I missed that," Cruz said of his first taste of Grapefruit League action. "Good at-bats, I guess. With more at-bats, I'll feel better."
Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison, vying for the fifth spot in the rotation, held a dangerous Orioles lineup to just one hit over two innings. Pitching in his first spring game since 2012, Hutchison struck out four.
"My feel for my offspeed was pretty good," Hutchison said. "A couple of sliders were a little loopy, but they're getting there, a couple of them were real crisp. Overall it was a real good day. ... As long as I'm throwing strikes, that's all I'm really worried about it."
Stroman, despite allowing the two runs, showed why he is a highly touted prospect. The Blue Jays prospect struck out three batters in his outing.
The Orioles observed a moment of silence before the game to honor public relations director Monica Barlow, who passed away on Friday morning. Barlow, 36, was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in September 2009.
Up Next: Right-hander Esmil Rogers will make his second appearance of the spring when Toronto hosts the Yankees at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. The game can be seen live on MLB.TV or heard live on Gameday Audio. Rogers is scheduled to pitch two innings and will be followed by Todd Redmond, who will go two or three innings. Both pitchers are in the mix for the final spot in the Blue Jays starting rotation. Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, Jeremy Jeffress and Chad Jenkins are also scheduled to pitch while Edwin Encarnacion is expected to make his return to the lineup.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.