As the Toronto Blue Jays’ minor league camp is about to open at the Bobby Mattick training facility in Dunedin, the big club sent a team of mostly minor leaguers to Bradenton today to face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The youngsters made the front office proud, blanking the Bucs by a 12-0 score that was fueled by three ninth-inning home runs.
The Blue Jays had two players in the starting lineup who figure to be MLB regulars in 2017 with Ezequiel Carrera going 1/3 with a run and Kendrys Morales going 1/3 with an RBI. Gregorio Petit drove in a pair of runs, going 2/3 with a double before yielding to Richard Urena who was 1/2 with a run. Rowdy Tellez was 0/1 with a walk and Reese McGuire was 1/3 with a run. Anthony Alford continues to struggle, going 0/2 with a strikeout but Dwight Smith, Jr., starting in left field was 2/4 with two RBI. Alex Monsalve singled home Edward Olivares‘s single in the eighth
On the mound, Lucas Harrell threw two scoreless, walking one and hitting a batter but he struck out three. Casey Lawrence added an inning, striking out one while Glenn Sparkman gave up a leadoff single in his inning but got three outs in a row, striking out Andrew McCutchen on three pitches. Wil Browning ran into some trouble in his inning but struck out two and got through clean while Jeff Beliveau and John Stilson each walked one and gave up a hit in their inning. Jarrett Grube followed with a clean eighth and Chad Girodo threw a clean ninth.
As the Jays brought in their “scrubs,” mostly lower minor leaguers, for the end of the game, those scrubs elevated the offense to another level as the Jays scored nine runs in the last four innings. Smith drove in two in the sixth and, with two outs and one run on, Mike Ohlman singled home Richard Urena and was followed by a solo home run from Joshua Palacios in the seventh. In the eighth inning, Alex Monsalve singled home Edward Olivares’s single and in the ninth, the Jays rocked A.J. Schugel for three home runs by Mike Ohlman, Jonathan Diaz and Matt Dean.
All in all, it was a convincing win by the Blue Jays but, in the absence of pretty much any of their regulars, we shouldn’t read too much into how this might portend for the regular season.
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