Jays Game Recap: March 29th versus the Orioles
March 29th featured the last Sunday of spring training baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays as they took on their division rival Baltimore Orioles. Starting for the Jays was Mark Buehrle against the wild throwing Ubaldo Jiminez.
– Buehrle started out well for the Jays striking out the first two batters he faced on well framed pitches by catcher Russell Martin. He did surrender a double to follow but, similarly to the two hits surrendered in the following inning, he managed to escape unscathed.
– Jose Bautista had a long single in the second but was stranded as the Jays were unable to follow up with any substantial offensive. A similar trend was found in the following inning when Devon Travis lead off with a single, followed by a Jose Reyes double only to be later stranded by their comrades.
-Buehrle allowed a run in the third, surrendering a double to left-centre to make it 1-0. The Jays did answer back in the 4th however as Josh Donaldson took a pitch up-and-in for a ride over the left field fence to make it a 1-1 game.
– Aaron Loup and Brett Cecil combined for a spotless 6th and 7th inning of relief before giving way to Jeff Francis in the 8th. In what may be his most important game of spring training thus far, Francis was less than exceptional. In his inning, he surrendered two runs on three hits before giving way to Brady Dragmire to close out the game. Dragmire started the inning giving up a solo-home run making the score 4-2 before settling down to conclude the outing.
Buehrle was neither outstanding nor brutal in his outing against the Orioles today. More or less, he was Mark Buehrle. He started out the game striking out his first two batters looking before allowing a double which he later stranded. In the second, he continued the trend of bending but not breaking as he allowed a pair of singles before leaving them stranded on base. Buehrle’s final line was something Jays fans hope to see a lot of this season: A lot of hits allowed but not many runs. 5.0 IP, 7H, ER, 4 K.
Travis had another day at the office worthy of excitement. By game’s end he went 2-4 with a single up the middle and through the hole to left field. He continues to excite Jays fans as he now leads all Blue Jays this spring in hits with 19 and increased his batting average to .352 in spring training. If he can bring any of that talent north, dovetailed with his above average defence, 2015 may be a surprisingly exciting year at second base.
In one of his first appearances since returning from shoulder inflammation, Cecil looked ready to close. In his inning of work, Cecil allowed one hit, struck out one and walked one without allowing a run. Not a huge feat but surely a positive sign with less than a week before he takes on the high-pressure closer role. Loup was equally as good as Cecil on the afternoon, but it was comforting to see Cecil return and throw the ball with such ease.