The Blue Jays are putting their early Grapefruit League struggles behind them and swept the Pirates in two split-squad games on Friday.
At home in Dunedin, the Blue Jays cruised to a 5-2 win over the Pirates’ road crew, scoring three runs in the first inning thanks to singles from Teoscar Hernandez and Justin Smoak (2/2, BB, RBI) with walks to Randal Grichuk (1/2, BB), Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Brandon Drury (2/2, BB, 2 RBI). Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (1/2, RBI) also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly before the inning ended. Freddy Galvis (1/2, RBI) started the second with a solo home run and Brandon Drury hit a home run to start the third, giving the Jays a five-run lead.
Marcus Stroman cruised through four innings, giving up just one hit and striking out three as he lodged a strong outing to suggest that he’s healthy. Javy Guerra followed, striking out one in the fifth while Jacob Waguespack struggled with his command, giving up three walks and a home run among two hits for one run in two innings with three strikeouts. Shawn Morimando allowed a run on two hits with two strikeouts in 2/3 of an inning and Justin Shafer finished it off, throwing 1 1/3 innings, striking out two to get his second save of the spring.
In the away game, Anthony Alford was a machine, hitting two home runs, a solo shot in the third and another solo shot in the fourth, adding a double to his tally as he went 3/5. Bo Bichette also was 2/5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs while Billy McKinney went yard, going 2/4 with two RBI and a run. Jonathan Davis hit a blast, going 1/4 with two RBI and two runs while Eric Sogard was 1/2 with an RBI, three walks and two runs. Subbing in, Andrew Guillotte was 2/2 with an RBI and two doubles while Kendrys Morales was 1/3 with a walk and Richard Urena was 2/3 with two walks and two runs.
Sean Reid-Foley went one further than Marcus Stroman, going four no-hit innings, walking one and striking out four, finding a groove against the Bucs. Sam Gaviglio allowed two hits and a walk with three strikeouts in three innings and Tim Mayza struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth. Danny Barnes came on for the ninth and, after allowing a hit to the first batter he faced, struck out a pair and got a fly ball to finish off the game.
The next action is on Saturday in Clearwater as Matt Shoemaker takes on the Phillies.
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