Donaldson's bat helps lead Buehrle, Blue Jays to victory
By Paul Hagen
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Ace left-hander Mark Buehrle pitched two shutout innings and third baseman Josh Donaldson, one of the Blue Jays' big offseason additions, homered to lead Toronto to a 4-2 Grapefruit League win over the Phillies on Saturday at Bright House Field.
Buehrle gave up singles to the first two batters he faced, Ben Revere and Freddy Galvis. He then retired five straight including a double play from Ryan Howard to end the first.
In all, Blue Jays pitchers retired 18 straight Phillies batters before Darin Ruf singled with one out in the seventh.
The Blue Jays scratched out a run in the top of the second after Phillies starter Jerome Williams started the inning by hitting Justin Smoak with a pitch and Dalton Pompey beat out an infield hit on a slow roller up the middle.
Dayan Viciedo followed by grounding into a double play but Kevin Pillar's two-out single drove in Smoak for the first run of the game.
Donaldson, acquired from the Athletics, added to Toronto's lead by leading off the fourth with a home run against David Buchanan, who is competing for a spot in the Phillies rotation.
Williams has been penciled into the Phillies rotation after going 4-2, 2.83 ERA in nine starts after being claimed on waivers from the Rangers last year.
Earlier in the season he'd been released by the Astros. Buchanan is competing for the fifth spot with Kevin Slowey and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.
"I just wanted to come in [on Smoak] and got too far in," said Williams, who was extended to three innings. "And the base hit through the hole, I just didn't locate it. So, it's back to the drawing board. Go out there and practice it."
Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies closer who has been connected to the Blue Jays in trade rumors, made his spring debut in the sixth. After giving up a leadoff single to Russell Martin, he struck out Danny Valencia and Smoak before getting Pompey to fly out to end the inning.
The Blue Jays would add two more runs in the seventh on an RBI double by Caleb Gindl who then scored one batter later on a single by Matt Hague.
The Phillies would make a comeback attempt by scoring two runs in the ninth inning, which included an RBI double by Brian Bogusevic, but the Blue Jays were able to come away with the victory.
Up Next: Right-hander Aaron Sanchez will make his second start of the spring Sunday at home against the Pirates, live on MLB.TV at 1:07 p.m. ET. Sanchez, who could begin the season as a member of the Blue Jays rotation or as their closer, is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA. "Sanchy, we don't know where he's going to end up," manager John Gibbons said Saturday. "We're in a good spot either way, I think."
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.