Sanchez makes rotation bid with solid start

Bullpen backs No. 2 prospect with 5 2/3 impressive frames to down Orioles

Sanchez makes rotation bid with solid start

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Danny Valencia had a pair of hits and Chris Dickerson had a two-run double to lead the Blue Jays to a 5-3 victory over the Orioles on Friday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Baltimore opened the scoring in the top of the second with a two-run inning off right-hander Aaron Sanchez. Orioles infielder Jonathan Schoop got the rally started with a one-out single to right field and later advanced to second on a grounder to short. Schoop then came around to score on a seeing-eye single through the right side of the infield off the bat of catcher Caleb Joseph.

Designated hitter Henry Urrutia drove home another run with a double to right-center field. It was the lone at-bat of the inning which resulted in a hard-hit ball, but marked the second run of the game as Baltimore took an early 2-0 lead. Both runs were charged to Sanchez, who allowed five hits and struck out one over 3 1/3 innings.

Sanchez on start vs. Orioles

"I felt amazing today," Sanchez said. "I felt I could go out there and pitch two or three more innings, so that has to say something. We'll just continue to improve each week. Obviously we're gradually working the pitch count up, and hopefully we'll do the same thing in the gym."

Toronto bounced back in the bottom half of the second after a scary moment involving Jose Bautista. Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez struck Bautista with a pitch on his right hand, but after a brief visit from the training staff, he remained in the game. Bautista advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then came around to score on a bloop single by Daric Barton. Later in the second, the Blue Jays added another pair of runs on a double to left-centre field by Dickerson.

Dickerson's two-run double

Jimenez, who continues to work on new mechanics this spring, pitched out of a jam with two runners on in the fourth, and he was charged with the three runs on five hits and a strikeout.

"I felt really comfortable out there," Jimenez said. "I could throw the fastball wherever I wanted, inside or outside. I felt good."

Toronto added another pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when Valencia singled to center field. Valencia finished the day 2-for-3 with a run scored, and he now has five hits in six games this spring. Jose Reyes also had a pair of hits for the Blue Jays, including a bunt single down the third-base line.

Urrutia finished with three hits and Everth Cabrera had two hits in a losing cause for the Orioles.

Up next: Left-hander Daniel Norris will get the start when the Blue Jays host the Yankees on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m ET on MLB.TV. Norris will be making his third outing of the spring as he continues to compete for the final spot in Toronto's rotation. Also scheduled to pitch for the Blue Jays: Aaron Loup, Steve Delabar, Kyle Drabek and Chad Jenkins, with Scott Barnes and Ryan Tepera also potentially available. New York is expected to send Alex Rodriguez on the trip, along with outfielders Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury.

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.