Spring training roundup: New faces power Jays in win over Pirates

By Thomson Reuters Mar 13, 2024 | 6:56 PM

Toronto newcomers Justin Turner and Eduardo Escobar each clubbed a three-run homer on Wednesday as the host Blue Jays pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-3 in Dunedin, Fla.

Turner, who spent last season with the Boston Red Sox, went deep in the first, while Escobar, coming off a season in which he split time between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels, left the yard in the seventh.

Right-hander Chris Bassitt (1-1) was the beneficiary of Toronto’s offensive showcase, earning the win after allowing one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out nine.

Oneil Cruz ripped a solo shot for Pittsburgh, which had nine hits but went just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Pirates starter Roansy Contreras (0-2) struggled with his control, walking six in four innings. He gave up four runs and two hits while fanning three.

Twins 1, Cardinals 1

Christian Vazquez sent an RBI single to right in the bottom of the seventh to allow a Minnesota split squad to post a tie against visiting St. Louis in Fort Myers, Fla.

Dylan Carlson had put the Cardinals ahead with a solo home run in the top half of the frame.

Both starters went four innings in what ended up being a pitchers’ duel. The Twins’ Louie Varland surrendered just one hit and recorded four strikeouts, while St. Louis’ Zack Thompson struck out five and walked one without giving up a hit.

Rays 4, Twins 3

Jacob Lopez allowed just one hit across three strong innings of relief, helping host Tampa Bay beat Minnesota’s split squad in Port Charlotte, Fla.

Lopez (2-0) kept the Twins off the scoreboard, issued one walk and fanned five to collect the win. With the Rays trailing 3-2, Jonathan Aranda smacked a two-run blast in the fifth to drive in what ended up being the winning run.

All of Minnesota’s runs came via home runs — Matt Wallner’s two-run homer and Michael Helman’s solo shot.

Phillies 4, Tigers 1

Philadelphia struck for a three-run eighth to dispatch visiting Detroit in Clearwater, Fla.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth, when Whit Merrifield went deep to tie things up. Kody Clemens scored on a wild pitch for the go-ahead run when the eighth rolled around.

Matt Vierling cranked a solo shot against his former team to provide Detroit with its lone run. Phillies starter Aaron Nola kept the Tigers at bay, giving up just one run on two hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Red Sox 9, Yankees 4

Triston Casas blasted a 421-foot home run to highlight Boston’s victory over host New York in Tampa, Fla.

Enmanuel Valdez also homered and Tyler McDonough added a two-run double for the Red Sox, who had five relievers combine to surrender just one run across six innings. One of those relievers, Justin Hagenman (1-0), got the win.

Despite the loss, the Yankees got four innings of one-run ball from starter Carlos Rodon. Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-3 and Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-3, but fellow New York star Juan Soto was held hitless in three at-bats.

Nationals 2, Marlins 1

Jake Irvin settled for a no-decision despite posting five shutout innings, but visiting Washington still came away with a win against Miami in Jupiter, Fla.

Irvin allowed just one hit and struck out five before turning things over to the bullpen. Derek Law (2-0) ended up getting the win, and Robert Gsellman notched the save.

Luis Garcia Jr.’s fielder’s choice brought the winning run across the plate in the eighth for the Nationals. Josh Bell had an RBI double, one of four hits for the Marlins. Miami starter Eury Perez retired just one batter and left due to a finger injury.

–Field Level Media