It was the first “Cardiac Kids” moment of the spring, and the Blue Jays’ kids were up to the challenge.
Trailing the Orioles 3-2 going into the 9th, with all the starters out of the game, the Jays’ minor-leaguers and future stars rallied for four runs off big-leaguer Pedro Strop and extended the Blue Jays’ spring win streak to three games.
Ricardo Nanita led it off with a single, then Yan Gomes hit a little swinging bunt-type nubber towards third that he beat out for his second hit of the game (he doubled in a run in the second). David Cooper drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases and Jonathan Diaz, with a career slugging percentage under .300 as a pro, picked out a pitch he could drive and belted it to the lip of the warning track in left for a game-tying sacrifice fly on which all three runners moved up. Anthony Gose was next, having walked and stolen both second and third the inning before in a valiant attempt to single-handedly tie the game. On his own, he dropped a bunt down the first base line on which Gomes didn’t break right away from third. On the ball’s big hop, though, he did, and he would have been out by a ton at the plate had Strop’s six-foot flip to the catcher not sailed past him to the backstop. A batter later, Brian Bocok ripped a single up the middle to score a pair, and that was that.
Ronald Uviedo, called up from the minor-league complex for the day, struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth around a couple of singles to nail down the save. Uviedo was picked up by the Blue Jays for the long-since-lamented Dana Eveland a couple of years back.
Earlier in the game, J.P. Arencibia hit a moonshot for his fourth home run of the spring, and Travis Snider was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk, scoring ahead of the Gomes double. Eric Thames was supposed to play, but his legs started cramping up after the game in Fort Myers last night, and the Jays decided to hold him out. He may play Thursday against the Phillies, or may wait until Saturday’s home game against the Braves. Likewise Brett Lawrie.
Kyle Drabek started and was OK. He didn’t finish the requisite four innings, reaching his pitch count of 60 with one out in the fourth. Drabek allowed three hits over his 3.1 innings, but two of them were infield singles. He maintained his poise, never let an inning get away from him and in the overall, looked as good as you would want him to look as far as composure and strength. The fastball touched 95 and the curveball was working well. He’s still behind the eight-ball for a rotation spot, though. Here’s what Drabek had to say after his outing:
John Farrell had very good things to say about Drabek, Yan Gomes and the rest of the kids after the game:
And we also spoke to Rick van den Hurk, who was claimed on waivers by the Cleveland Indians during the game. The tall Dutchman was never going to make the team barring the unforeseen, but he didn’t do himself any favours by giving up seven earned runs on 10 hits over 6.1 spring innings, walking twice as many hitters as he struck out. The move clears a spot on the 40-man roster, ostensibly so the Blue Jays can add Omar Vizquel to it later this spring.
Here’s what van den Hurk had to say:
The Blue Jays are home to the Phillies on Thursday, and we’ll have that game for you on mlb.com starting at 1:05PM Eastern. You have to have an mlb audio account to access the broadcast, but I do believe it’s free. Brandon Morrow is scheduled to start and throw five innings and will be followed by Carlos Villanueva for two, Darren Oliver and Jason Frasor. Join us, won’t you?
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