Josh Thole’s walkoff RBI groundout lifts Jays past Orioles

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Dunedin, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Josh Thole hit a walkoff RBI grounder in the 10th inning as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 4-3, Sunday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

In the 10th, trailing, 3-2, Erik Kratz doubled and later scored on Dan Johnson’s RBI single to tie the game at three runs apiece.

Jonathan Diaz, who walked after Kratz’s double, advanced to second on Johnson’s knock and came home as the game-winner on Thole’s groundout.

Todd Redmond pitched five innings of four-hit ball with two earned runs and three strikeouts. Arik Sikula (1-0) gave up a homer to Daniel Alvarez in the 10th but still got the win for the Jays (7-10).

Aside from giving up two runs in the fourth, Redmond was effective on the mound as he boosted his chance for a spot in the Jays’ rotation.

Redmond has allowed nine earned runs in 16 innings this spring, and he appears to have an inside track for a job either in the rotation or the bullpen.

“I had one little bit of a rough inning, but was able to get out of it with minimal damage and was able to get my pitches back down to where they needed to be,” Redmond said.

Jose Bautista was one of the bright spots on offense for Toronto as he went 2-for-4 and nearly had an RBI in the bottom of the seventh inning, but catcher Dioner Navarro was thrown out at home.

Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez kept Toronto off the scoreboard until the fourth inning. He allowed five hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out three in his fourth appearance of the spring.

Steve Clevenger and Ryan Flaherty had a pair of RBI doubles off Redmond to lead the offense for the Orioles (10-6).

Adam Jones, who made his return to Baltimore’s lineup following a brief absence, started the rally with an infield single. Clevenger and Flaherty then doubled to open the scoring.

Jones went 1-for-2 with a single, a walk and a run. It was his first game back since he temporarily departed the team to attend the birth of his first child. He has two hits in 16 at-bats this spring and has yet to record an RBI.

In the bottom of the ninth, Toronto led off the frame with four straight singles to tie the game at two and send it to extras. Alvarez’s home run in the 10th inning gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead.

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