Stroman overcomes control hiccup in duel with Astros

Stroman overcomes control hiccup in duel with Astros

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jake Marisnick drove in the lone run with a single and right-hander Collin McHugh tossed three scoreless innings to lead the Astros to a 1-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Monday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Marisnick, who is a former Blue Jays prospect, delivered his hit off Ryan Tepera in the sixth inning. He finished 1-for-3 with a strikeout and now has three hits in four games this spring as he continues to compete for the Astros' starting job in center field.

McHugh pitched around a leadoff double by Jose Reyes in the first inning en route to his scoreless outing. He struck out three and walked one in his second start of the spring. Roberto Hernandez and Asher Wojciechowski each tossed a pair of scoreless innings in relief.

Right-hander Marcus Stroman got the start for Toronto, which marked the first time this spring Russell Martin was behind the plate for one of his outings. Stroman battled some control problems with a pair of walks and a hit batsman in the third inning, but he didn't allow a run and struck out three over 2 2/3 innings.

It might take a little longer than normal for Stroman to build a strong rapport with Martin because he throws six pitches. Stroman uses a curveball, cutter, changeup, four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball and a slider.

"I'm trying to get to learn him as much as possible and he's trying to learn me," Stroman said. "It's not an easy process, I throw a pretty good amount of pitches, so getting on the same page is going to take a bit of time.

"It was pretty good for the first time, him catching me in a game. We were pretty much on the same page and just looking forward to developing that relationship and getting to the point where we're in sync with each other."

Up next for the Blue Jays: R.A. Dickey will make his second official start of the spring when the Blue Jays host the Twins on Tuesday afternoon at 1:07 p.m. ET. Dickey is expected to increase his workload to either three or four innings, and he will be followed on the mound by Wilton Lopez, Scott Barnes, Steve Delabar, Kyle Drabek and Gregory Infante. Of the five relievers, it would appear as though Lopez, Delabar and Drabek have the best shot at cracking the Opening Day roster.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for 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.