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Blue Jays and Darwin Barney open up 2016 spring with win

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Darwin Barney was a perfect three-for-three with five RBIs as the Toronto Blue Jays won their spring opener 5-3 against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday at Bright House Field.

Expected opening day starter Marcus Stroman kicked off the exhibition season for the Blue Jays, allowing two earned runs on three hits over 2.0 innings of work. 

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Stroman was followed by Drew Hutchison in the third inning, who threw two frames of one-run ball, allowing a solo shot to old friend J.P. Arencibia as the right-hander tries to push his way back in to the competition for the fifth starter’s job.

When the bullpen churn began in the fifth, Toronto received five innings of shutout ball from Steve Delabar, Ryan Tepera, Chad Jenkins, Scott Copeland, and Wade LeBlanc throwing one frame each and allowing just one hit combined.

The entirety of Toronto’s production came off the bat of Darwin Barney (because, of course), but Justin Smoak and Roemon Fields pitched in with doubles of their own. Singles went to Matt Dominguez, Chris Colabello, and offseason minor league signing Jio Mier.

Top prospect Anthony Alford made the trip and saw two at-bats in relief of Dalton Pompey, who was slotted in as the leadoff man by manager John Gibbons. His recent comments about getting Pompey consistent work seem to indicate that, if the young Canadian is unable to beat out Michael Saunders for the starting job in left field, he’ll be headed to the triple-A Buffalo Bisons to continue his development in case a need arises midseason.

The Blue Jays and Phillies face off again Wednesday afternoon at 1:07 ET, with R.A. Dickey projected to start against David Buchanan.