Blue Jays defeat Phillies 7-5 behind 4 RBIs from Bautista & Cabrera


The Toronto Blue Jays completed a spring training home and home against the Philadelphia Phillies, playing the 2nd game at their spring training home at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. The opening day starters for both teams were on the mound to start today’s game, R.A. Dickey for the Jays, and Cliff Lee for the Phillies. For the 2nd consecutive day, the Blue Jays defeated the Phillies, this time in a full 9-inning game, 7-5.

The Jays fielded a lineup with a few changes from their opening game: Moises Sierra, Erik Kratz, Maicer Izturis, and Kenny Wilson:

Jose Reyes (SS) — 1 for 3, RBI
Moises Sierra (RF) — 1 for 4, double, 2 runs, strikeout
Jose Bautista (DH) — 2 for 2, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 1 walk
Edwin Encarnacion (1B) — 1 for 3, 2 strikeouts
Brett Lawrie (3B) — 2 for 3, double, 1 RBI
Melky Cabrera (LF) — 1 for 3, double, 2 RBIs, 1 run
Maicer Izturis (2B) — 1 for 2, 1 run
Erik Kratz (C) — 0 for 3, strikeout
Kenny Wilson (CF) — 1 for 2, 1 RBI

R.A. Dickey [2 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 2 bb, 2 K, 38 pitches/24 strikes] got himself into a jam in the 1st, issuing a walk to load the bases–following a Brett Lawrie throwing error, led to allowing the first run on a passed ball charged to Erik Krtaz. But Dickey had a much better 2nd inning, stranding a bloop single to finish his outing.

Blue Jays’ quickly tied it against Cliff Lee [2.0 IP, 2 hits, 1 ER, 3 strikeouts] on back to back doubles by Sierra and Bautista, but that would be all the Jays would get against the Phillies’ ace today. Lee retired his final 5 batters to complete his 2 innings.

After falling behind 3-1 in the 3rd, the Jays would go on to score a combined 6 runs in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings to go ahead of the Phillies and win the game. Brett Cecil was the pitcher of record, pitching a shutout 4th inning before the Jays took the lead. Jake Diekman was saddled with the loss, giving up the lead in the 4th, allowing 2 ER on 4 singles.

Moises Sierra, who is the leading candidate to for the Jays’ 4th OF position, got the start in RF and batted 2nd, in order to get as many at-bats against Phillies’ lefty Cliff Lee, however that did not end up being the case. In his lone at-bat against Lee, Sierra did hit a double.

Jose Bautista looks to be ready for the season, after homering yesterday in his first at-bat, he crushed 2 doubles off different pitchers, resulting in two runs driven in.

Erik Kratz caught starter R.A. Dickey, and allowed a single passed ball in the 2 innings. One would assume with him getting the start to catch Dickey, over Thole, he may be the front runner to land the Blue Jays’ back up catcher position.
Dickey says he felt comfortable with Kratz behind the plate, as reported by Shi Davidi:

Esmil Rogers got touched up in his lone inning of work, by Phillies’ LF Darin Ruf for a 2 run home run to left-center.

Melky Cabrera was hindered with knee tendinitis and a benign tumor in his lower back last season that rendered him nearly immobile, looked much improved today, beating out a double play groundball and later tagging to 3rd on a flyball to right. His bat was also productive, driving in 2 runs on a double in the gap in the 5th, which ended up being the winning runs.

Relievers Brett Cecil and Dustin McGowan combined to pitch 2 shutout innings in the 5th and 6th, allowing just 1-hit.

Blue Jays are scheduled to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates tomorrow at 1:05 pm est. Mark Buehrle is scheduled to start for the Jays, Gerrit Cole for the Pirates.