Port Charlotte, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Top prospect Aaron Sanchez tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings while Brett Lawrie homered and drove in three runs to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-0 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays Friday at Charlotte Sports Park.
Sanchez (1-0) surrendered three hits with three walks and two strikeouts to earn the victory as the Blue Jays improved to 10-11.
Sanchez didn’t give up a run in four appearances this spring, allowing only nine hits and six walks, while striking out eight over 12 1/3 innings.
In his final audition for the fifth spot in Tampa Bay’s rotation, Erik Bedard (2-2) gave up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out four on 94 pitches over 5 2/3 innings as the Rays dropped to 14-5.
Before the game, Rays manager Joe Maddon said Bedard was very much in the thick of the competition for that final starting job, and a final decision is expected Saturday.
Bedard held the Blue Jays to just one hit through the first two innings before Toronto broke through in the third.
Four straight singles from Chris Getz, Anthony Gose, Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus, along with a throwing error by centre fielder Desmond Jennings, put the Blue Jays ahead, 3-0, before Bedard got out of the inning.
Lawrie got to Bedard again in the fourth, lofting a solo homer into the Jays’ bullpen in left field to put Toronto up, 4-0. The third baseman followed that with a RBI sac fly in the seventh inning, capping a 2-for-3 day with three RBIs.