Bautista leads Blue Jays' offensive outburst
Slugger rips two RBI doubles to back Dickey's Grapefruit League debut
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays' offense scored early and often as Jose Bautista led the way with two doubles and a pair of RBIs in a 7-5 victory over the Phillies on Thursday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Bautista opened the scoring for Toronto in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI double down the left-field line off left-hander Cliff Lee. Two innings later, Bautista was back at it again with a double over the head of center fielder Ben Revere.
Toronto's right fielder now has three extra-base hits, three RBIs and a pair of walks in just two games this spring. He was eventually removed for a pinch-runner during the fifth inning when Toronto went to its bench for the rest of the game.
Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie also had a pair of hits while Melky Cabrera had a two-run double to the gap in right-center field. Toronto's starting nine combined for seven runs on 10 hits over the course of five innings.
"I thought we swung the bats pretty good," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "You look at it, most of our hits were middle or the other way. That doesn't mean we're going to turn into that [type] of team, but against a lot of lefties and things like that you have to be able to do that and I think it was progress for us."
Left fielder Darin Ruf was the main standout on offense for Philadelphia. He walked during his first at-bat and in his second appearance he sent a home run off the scoreboard in left field. Ruf's first of the spring came on a first-pitch fastball from right-hander Esmil Rogers and put the Phillies in front, 3-1. John Mayberry also added a solo homer off the scoreboard in the sixth.
Lee made his spring debut for the Phillies and allowed one run on two hits while striking out three. His only trouble came in the first inning when he surrendered the back-to-back doubles to Moises Sierra and Bautista. Lee retired the final five batters he faced and got through his outing in relatively short order.
Blue Jays No. 1 starter R.A. Dickey allowed one unearned run in his two innings. Dickey had trouble locating his knuckleball early in the game as he walked a pair of batters in the first inning before settling into a groove during his brief outing.
The only run against Dickey came when a passed ball was charged to Erik Kratz when Philadelphia loaded the bases with just one out. Dickey then struck out Kevin Frandsen and got Cody Asche on a weak grounder to second that ended the inning.
Up next: Left-hander Mark Buehrle will make his spring debut when the Blue Jays host the Pirates on Friday afternoon in a 1:05 p.m. ET start at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Buehrle is scheduled for one or two innings and will then be followed by Brandon Morrow, Steve Delabar, Sergio Santos, Liam Hendriks, Sean Nolin, Aaron Sanchez and Juan Perez. The game can be seen on MLB.TV or heard on an exclusive webcast.