Feb 17, 2014; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Todd Redmond (58) throws a pitch as Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) looks on for spring training at Bobby Mattick Training Center . Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
After a promising start to the spring the Toronto Blue Jays dropped their second-straight, this time to the New York Yankees 8-2. And for the second straight game, it came at the hands of a division rival.
The Blue Jays actually got on the board first in this one, with Jose Bautista delivering his second round-tripper of the summer in the bottom of the first inning. The bomb came on a 3-2 pitch that Bautista deposited over the left field wall to give Toronto a 1-0 lead.
However, Toronto was unable to sustain the scoring today and the Yankees would put four on the board before the Blue Jays answered with a single run in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the Yankee lead to 4-2 with a Melky Cabrera double. The Yankees would tack on four more runs in the 7th and 8th to complete the 8-2 final.
As an offense, the Blue Jays scattered 10 hits on the day, including from Melky Cabrera and a total of four doubles (Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Adam Lind, and Edwin Encarnacion). However, the Blue Jays didn’t cash in those chips when available.
It wasn’t a pretty game for the Blue Jays pitching staff by any stretch of the imagination, particularly for players involved in the team’s open tryouts for the fifth starter in the rotation. Esmil Rogers received the start for the Blue Jays, his second appearance of the spring. He threw the ball well for two innings of work, striking out 1 in the process while surrendering 3 hits and a single earned run. His spring ERA actually dropped to 9.00 in the process.
He was followed by Todd Redmond and Redmond imploded. The Yankees would touch Redmond for three runs on three hits in two innings of work. Two of those hits were substantial, with the right-hander surrendering a two-run home run to Eduardo Nunez and a solo shot to Carlos Betran, both in the third inning. Redmond would recover in the fourth inning, but by then the damage was done.
Jeremy Jeffress, John Stilson, and Brett Cecil would hold the Yankees at bay for the next three innings before they struck again. Aaron Loup surrendered two hits and a run in the seventh and gave way to Neil Wagner. Wagner gave up three hits, including a 3-run home run to the JR Murphy in the eighth to put the game out of reach.
This was the second-consecutive game that Blue Jays pitching was roughed up, with the team dropping a 7-9 decision to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. With spring still being early, Toronto will continue to evaluate their options, but continued performances like these could push Ervin Santana back into the mix.
Until then, Toronto will steam forward. The Blue Jays will take a split-squad to face the Minnesota Twins on Monday, where J.A. Happ, Dustin McGowan, Kyle Drabek, Sean Nolin, and Mickey Storey expected to take the mound.