Spring Training inter-squad game: Jays win!
After seconds dragged into hours, stretched into days of jogging, pickup soccer and long-toss, the Jays finally embarked on the real baseball aspect of spring training today, playing in their first official (unofficial) game against themselves in the not-at-all anticipated inter-squad game.
The ‘blues’ faced off against the ‘greys’ this morning at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium with R.A Dickey getting the ball for the blues and Mark Buehrle for the greys.
Catching Dickey was Russell Martin who John Gibbons described as “unnoticeable” which can only be seen as a good thing for the future of the duo. Dickey worked around a walk to Maicer Izturis in his only inning of work while his counterpart Buehrle avoided a couple of potenially deadly blows from sluggers Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson to sum up his day.
Buehrle told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi post-game that no matter how simplistic the event may have been, it’s always nice to move beyond the monotonous batting practice/bullpen cycle that dominates early spring training. “You can hold fake runners or imaginary runners when you’re on the backfields, PFPs get old, so facing hitters, game speed, anything can happen, guys get on, they steal, bunt plays, everything is in play,” he said.
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Drew Hutchison took over in the second, continuing to work on his changeup in his inning of work which was saved by a Donaldson induced double play; something the Jays hope to see a lot of this season.
Another story from the game was the play of DH/1B candidate Justin Smoak. He managed to single in the second inning off left hander Aaron Loup and fired a spot on throw to second baseman Maicer Izturis to nail the stealing runner Kevin Pillar.
The big story of the day could be said for the rookies in camp. For starters, Roberto Osuna dominated in his one inning of work with a three-up, three-down display, albeit against a secondary already substituted lineup.
The only run of the day was also produced by a rookie in Mitch Nay‘s 5th inning home run off of pitcher Juan Oramas. The six-foot-three, 195 pounder is demonstrating why the Jays brought him to his first big league camp while continuing to grow into his big powerful frame.
Tomorrow, the Jays will transition into somewhat more serious baseball against the Pittsburgh Pirates in their first intra-team game of the spring. Aaron Sanchez will get the ball for the Jays, officially beginning the competition for who will earn the highly coveted fifth man in the rotation this season.
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