It was Teoscar Hernandez‘s turn to drive the offense as the Dominican outfielder drove in four runs to fuel the Toronto Blue Jays’ 11-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
Hernandez drove in two in the third inning on a single and another single in the fourth scored two more as Hernandez was 2/3 with four RBI and two runs. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 1/2 with a walk, an RBI and two runs hitting his second double of the spring. Kevin Pillar was 1/3 with a solo home run in the fifth inning and Reese McGuire was 2/2 with a double and a single. Eric Sogard made his play for a job, going 1/3 with two walks and two runs, stealing a base. Brandon Drury and Santiago Espinal, sharing duties at third base, each had a single while Kendrys Morales was 1/3 with two RBI playing first base and Andy Burns, coming in for Morales to finish the game at first, was 1/2. Justin Smoak was 1/2 with a walk and two runs and Billy McKinney was 1/2 with a walk and two runs.
Clayton Richard made his first start for the Jays, going 2 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk but struck out three. Corey Copping struck out the only batter he faced to finish the third while John Axford kept the strikeout streak going, fanning all three he faced. Thomas Pannone had a much better outing, giving up a walk and striking out two in two innings and Hector Perez struck out on, facing the minimum in two innings. Yennsy Diaz finished it up, striking out one facing the minimum in the ninth. In fact, it bodes well for the Blue Jays’ minor league starters with Pannone, Perez and Diaz providing five innings with just one batter reaching base.
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