Mar 5, 2013; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Andy LaRoche (left) tags out Baltimore Orioles base runner Luis Exposito during the top of the third inning of a spring training game at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsThe the team’s expected starting shortstop, first baseman, catcher, third baseman, and Opening Day starter now gone from camp due to the World Baseball Classic, one could understand how things could become a bit less exciting for the Toronto Blue Jays in the coming weeks. So, in order to make things a bit more exciting, the team responded by channeling their inner Bud Selig and playing the Baltimore Orioles to a 6-6 tie on Tuesday afternoon.
The tie keeps Toronto’s record at 5-5-1 for the young Spring Training season.
– J.A. Happ got the start for the Blue Jays and it was not a memorable affair for the southpaw. In three innings of work, Happ surrendered two runs on six hits while striking out one. The damage was done on a two-run home run by Steve Pearce, who also took Esmil Rogers deep in the 6th inning.
– Speaking of Esmil Rogers, maybe the right-hander would have preferred to join his Dominican Republic mates at the WBC. In one inning of work, Rogers struck out two hitters, but got torched for a trifecta of home runs.
– Anthony Gose continues to impress. Batting in the lead-off role, the center fielder was hitless in three at-bats, but walked twice, scored a pair of runs, and stole his third base of the spring. He also added an outfield assist, nailing Luis Exposito at third base.
– As part of the Blue Jays’ 14-hit attack, Toronto got two hits each from Emilio Bonifacio, Ryan Langerhans, and Jim Negrych, Melky Cabrera notched a pair of RBI’s on the day, and the aforementioned Langerhans and Andy LaRoche each hit home runs in the contest.
– LaRoche has been a unique find thus far this spring. Signed this winter as a minor-league free agent and given a non-roster invite to camp, Adam’s 29-year-old younger brother is hitting a solid .353 after 17 plate appearances with 4 RBI and a team-leading 3 home runs. While he won’t make the team out of camp, LaRoche is making a name for an early call-up should the need arise.
Today, the Blue Jays are facing the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, Florida. Here is the line-up: