Dunedin, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Right fielder Jose Bautista knocked in two runs as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-5, in Thursday’s spring training game at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Bautista went 2-for-2 with two doubles, third baseman Brett Lawrie had a pair of hits while Melky Cabrera had a two-run double to the gap in right-centre field as the Blue Jays improved to 2-0 in the Grapefruit League.
Bautista now has three extra-base hits, three RBIs and a pair of walks in just two games this spring. He was eventually removed for a pinch-runner during the fifth inning when Toronto went to its bench for the rest of the game.
Overall, Toronto’s starting nine combined for seven runs on 10 hits over the course of five innings.
“I thought we swung the bats pretty good,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “You look at it, most of our hits were middle or the other way. That doesn’t mean we’re going to turn into that [type] of team, but against a lot of lefties and things like that you have to be able to do that and I think it was progress for us.”
Blue Jays No. 1 starter R.A. Dickey allowed one unearned run in his two innings. Dickey had trouble locating his knuckleball early in the game as he walked a pair of batters in the first inning before settling into a groove during his brief outing.
The only run against Dickey came when a passed ball was charged to Erik Kratz when Philadelphia loaded the bases with just one out. Dickey then struck out Kevin Frandsen and got Cody Asche on a weak grounder to second that ended the inning.
Cliff Lee made his spring debut for the Phillies, allowing one run on two hits while striking out three. His only trouble came in the first inning when he surrendered the back-to-back doubles to Moises Sierra and Bautista before retiring the final five batters.
Left fielder Darin Ruf and John Mayberry homered for the Phillies, who dropped to 0-2 in spring training.
Bautista opened the scoring for Toronto in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI double down the left-field line off Lee. Two innings later, Bautista was back at it again with a double over the head of centre fielder Ben Revere.