Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez warms up before playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Grapefruit League baseball action in Dunedin, Fla., on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez ran into trouble early Tuesday as the Blue Jays opened their Grapefruit League schedule with an 8-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pedro Alvarez, Jung Ho Kang and Elias Diaz homered for the Pirates, who led 6-0 early.

Kevin Pillar homered for Toronto, which made it close on Josh Thole's two-run single with two outs in the eighth and another run in the ninth when the Jays left the bases loaded.

Story continues below advertisement

Dalton Pompey, competing for the Jays' open centre-field spot, engineered a run in the third when he singled, stole second, took third on a sacrifice fly and scored on a Jose Bautista groundout. Pillar had earlier driven two runs home with his shot over the left-field fence.

With left field open for the time being due to Michael Saunders's knee injury, manager John Gibbons switched Pompey to left and Pillar to centre in the fifth. Pompey responded with an acrobatic catch but then lost a fly ball that dropped in for a double and scored a run.

Toronto catcher Russell Martin slammed a ball off the left-field wall in the fifth but had to settle for a single.

Jays reliever Wilton Lopez provided the Jays' first 1-2-3 inning, in the seventh.

Sanchez finished last season as Toronto's closer but is being given the chance to earn a regular spot in the rotation.

Five runs (two earned) in 1 1/3 innings proved to be a tough start to spring training for Sanchez, who did not give up an earned run in six games in spring training last year. He exited after four outs and 10 batters Tuesday.

"Just today wasn't my day," said the 22-year-old Sanchez. "But I can learn from that."

Story continues below advertisement

It started well for the Jays with two fine fielding plays. First Sanchez stabbed a Jeff Decker liner aimed at his head. Then, off-balance after fielding the ball near home plate, Martin threw out Sean Rodriguez. A two-out error by third baseman Josh Donaldson left men on first and second, however, and Alvarez punished Sanchez with a three-run homer.

"It's spring training for everybody," said Sanchez. "You can't go out there and rely on guys making plays and (umpires) making calls, you've got to make your pitches and I didn't do that today."

A Decker double in the second drove in two more runs and ended Sanchez's afternoon on a sunny 25-degree day before 4,593 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Gibbons rolled out a strong lineup with shortstop Jose Reyes at leadoff, followed by Martin, right-fielder Bautista, designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, Donaldson, first baseman Justin Smoak, second baseman Maicer Izturis, Pillar and Pompey.

Both teams emptied their benches as the somewhat sloppy game wore on. Daric Barton singled in a Jays run in the fifth but Chris Colabello struck out with the bases loaded.

Pittsburgh starter Casey Sadler, who went 11-4 with a 3.03 earned-run average last season with Class-AAA Indianapolis before being called up, faced just six batters in his two innings with a Donaldson double play erasing a walk.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies