Aaron Sanchez looked ready to take on the major leagues as he made his final Grapefruit League start in 2019, going six strong innings to contribute to a 4-0 shutout of the Baltimore Orioles in a rare night game at Dunedin Stadium.
Sanchez gave up just one hit and walked two, striking out three and getting nine outs on the ground to just three that were fly balls. Sanchez finishes the spring with a 1.53 ERA and 0.91 WHIP over five starts and 17 2/3 innings in the spring, striking out 14 and walking seven. Combined with a healthy Marcus Stroman (who pitched in a minor league game yesterday), a resurgent Sanchez could help keep the 2019 Blue Jays from descending into a truly awful season.
Following Sanchez. Tim Mayza struck out the only batter he faced while Joe Biagini struck out the two batters he faced in the seventh. Justin Shafer worked around two hits and a walk, striking out one to preserve the shutout in the eighth and Ken Giles closed it out, allowing a hit and striking out one in the ninth.
Justin Smoak and Brandon Drury went deep for the Blue Jays with Smoak hitting his fourth homer of the spring and Drury hitting his third. Drury, hitting leadoff, drove in a pair on his blast and also took a walk. Smoak was 3/3 with the home run. Freddy Galvis, Roemon Fields, Danny Jansen, Billy McKinney and Richard Urena each had a single while Teoscar Hernandez was 1/2 with a walk.
The Blue Jays split their squad on Saturday, with Trent Thornton starting against the Yankees in Tampa on TV while Clayton Richard starts against the Canadian Junior National Team, likely with a team filled with minor leaguers (and Canadians).
Ryan Borucki had pulled himself out of his last minor league start with some discomfort. Bud Norris is apparently scheduled to throw Sunday after being held out earlier this week because of an injury scare.
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