Sadler, bullpen combine to shut out Blue Jays

Sadler, bullpen combine to shut out Blue Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Brent Morel had an RBI double and right-hander Casey Sadler didn't allow a hit over three innings to lead the Pirates to a 1-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Pittsburgh's lone run came in the top of the fifth inning when Jose Tabata got things started with a one-out double to center field. Morel followed in the next at-bat with an opposite-field double for his first RBI and third hit of the spring.

Blue Jays left-hander Scott Barnes was charged with the run. He allowed two hits and struck out two over his one inning of work. It was Barnes' second appearance of the spring and he appears to be a longshot to crack the Opening Day roster. But he could factor into the bullpen at some point this season.

Sadler was flawless for the Pirates with three perfect innings. Toronto's lineup resembled one that could be used during the regular season with the exception of Russell Martin, who received the day off. Sadler struck out three and has yet to allow a run in five innings this spring.

"I think every time you go out in Spring Training, you want to face their guys," Sadler said. "Not only does it give you a chance to see where you're at; it gives you a chance to go up against the best. That's what you want to do."

Ngoepe's nice stop

Right-hander Aaron Sanchez was equally effective for the Blue Jays. Sanchez's only blemish came in the third inning when he issued a one-out walk to Morel. Outside of that one at-bat, Sanchez commanded his fastball well and didn't allow a hit over three innings.

"I think going back to my first start it was more about just making sure I felt good, making sure my fastball command was there," Sanchez said after his second outing of the spring. "That was really the first time I got to face hitters ... so to get back out there and get my feet wet and then go out there and do what I did today it's just something to build off of. I felt good out there and just take it through the next five days."

Sanchez also struck out three batters and consistently hit 95 mph on the radar gun. The 22-year-old technically is competing for the final spot in Toronto's rotation but he seems destined for the bullpen because of the Blue Jays' glaring need for another reliable arm in late-inning relief.

Third baseman Josh Donaldson was the only player in the Blue Jays' starting lineup who managed to get a hit. Donaldson had a single to left in the fourth inning off right-hander Stolmy Pimentel. The two-time MVP candidate has three hits in four games this spring after joining Toronto in an offseason trade with Oakland.

Up next for the Pirates: Right-hander Gerrit Cole will make his second Grapefruit League start on Monday as the Pirates host the Twins at McKechnie Field at 1:05 p.m. ET on Gameday Audio. Cole gave up a run on one hit and a walk while striking out three in his first spring outing Wednesday against the Blue Jays. Josh Harrison [twisted left ankle] will return to the lineup and be replaced mid-game by Jung Ho Kang, making his first appearance at third base. Andrew McCutchen will be the Bucs' designated hitter. Radhames Liz, Arquimedes Caminero, Charlie Leesman, Angel Sanchez and Wilfredo Boscan are also scheduled to pitch.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.