The Toronto Blue Jays pitched (and defensed) their way into the win column for the first in the Grapefruit League season, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1.
The Blue Jays got some solid pitching up and down the long list of mound-minders as new Jay Matt Shoemaker allowed a solo home run in his two innings, striking out one. Sam Gaviglio sprinkled two hits and a walk with a strikeout in his two innings while Thomas Pannone was reportedly up to 91 mph with his fastball in his inning of work, striking out one. Yennsy Diaz (pronounced “Jennsy”), settled down after giving up two hits and a wild pitch but got lucky as Dwight Smith Jr. threw out Bryan Reynolds trying to score on the hit. Diaz struck out Jose Osuna on three pitches but then walked Will Craig on four pitches before striking out Christian Kelley to end the Pirates’ rally.
Corey Copping threw a scoreless seventh, striking out one and Elvis Luciano struck out a pair, giving up a hit in the eighth. Zach Jackson followed, walking one and striking out one to pick up the save.
Kendrys Morales was the offensive leader, going 2/3 with a double and two RBI (driving in both of the Blue Jays’ runs) while Brandon Drury was 2/3 with a stolen base and Kevin Pillar and Justin Smoak were each 1/3. Teoscar Hernandez walked twice, scoring a run. Of the subs, Rowdy Tellez was 1/2 and Jonathan Davis was 1/1 with a walk. Bo Bichette struck out twice.
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