Left-hander gives up two runs, fans two in three innings; Jennings goes 2-for-2
By Bill Chastain and Gregor Chisholm
MLB.com |@wwchastain |
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Russell Martin homered, while Jose Reyes and Devon Travis added a pair of doubles in the Blue Jays' 3-0 victory over the Rays on Sunday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Martin's home run came in the bottom of the sixth inning off left-hander Mike Montgomery. Toronto's other two runs were charged to Rays starter Everett Teaford, who allowed three hits and didn't walk a batter over three innings as he makes a bid for the Rays' rotation.
Osuna makes starting debut: Roberto Osuna made his first start of the spring after right-hander Marco Estrada was a late scratch because of a sprained ankle. Osuna, who is ranked the club's No. 6 prospect by MLB.com, continued his strong spring with 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and a walk while striking out two in a relatively flawless start. Osuna has yet to allow a run in 9 2/3 innings this spring, but he's expected to start the year in the Minors after missing almost all of last year because of Tommy John surgery.
Castro still untouchable: It seems like the deeper the Blue Jays get into Spring Training, the more untouchable Castro has become. The hard-throwing prospect has been borderline dominant during his first big league camp and that trend continued on Sunday against the Rays. Castro allowed one hit while striking out four over 2 1/3 innings. One of the strikeouts was against Tampa Bay star third baseman Evan Longoria, while the others were Alexi Casilla, Corey Brown and Tim Beckham. Castro has yet to allow a run while surrendering three hits over nine innings this spring.
Travis stays hot: Blue Jays second baseman Travis doubled and scored during the third inning in his latest bid to win the starting job at second base. Veteran Maicer Izturis was considered the frontrunner for the job, but it was announced on Sunday morning that he likely won't be ready for Opening Day because of a strained groin. That opens the door for Travis, but it's possible the Blue Jays will instead begin the year with a platoon of Ryan Goins and Steve Tolleson. Travis has 14 hits in 15 games this spring, including six doubles, with six RBIs and three runs scored.
Backup catcher decision: Rene Rivera will be the Rays' starting catcher; that's a certainty. But the backup duties remain up in the air between Curt Casali and Bobby Wilson. Rays manager Kevin Cash said the decision on who wins the spot is not coming just yet.
"They both have had strong camps," Cash said. "They have done everything we've asked of them. And I think going into this that that decision would go down to the wire. The way they've carried themselves all of camp, the way they've supported each other, it's been fun to watch. Just very professional, and I would imagine they've become buddies doing all the drills. It's pretty cool. Just two quality guys."
Day off for Franklin and Guyer: The Rays' Nick Franklin and Brandon Guyer were originally scheduled to play Sunday in Dunedin, but neither ended up making the trip. Franklin earned the day off by playing nine innings on Saturday. Meanwhile, Guyer played in back-to-back games. Since he has been on the mend from an oblique issue, Cash felt like "three in a row would have been a little bit of a stretch."
• "I felt good, felt like I made good pitches and I'm happy with the results," said Teaford, who is competing for one of three open spots in Tampa Bay's rotation.
• "It's always exciting to face those guys," said the 20-year-old Osuna, who made his first start of the spring. "I was a little bit nervous to face Longoria for the first time, but I think I did a good job, so I'm very happy."
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• If the Twins are on the schedule, that means victory for the Rays this spring, as they are in the midst of an eight-game Grapefruit League winning streak against their Fort Myers neighbors.
• The Rays' traveling roster for Sunday's game included infielders Casey Gillaspie, the organization's first-round pick from the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft, and Riley Unroe, the second-round pick in 2013.
• The Blue Jays have trained in Dunedin since their inaugural season in 1977. Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are the only teams in Major League Baseball who have been in their Spring Training cities for a longer period of time.
Blue Jays: The Blue Jays will enjoy and off-day on Monday before traveling to Fort Myers for a matinee affair against the Twins on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Estrada is expected to make the start after he was scratched from Sunday's outing because of a sprained ankle. Todd Redmond, Kyle Drabek and Colt Hynes are among the pitchers who likely will pitch out of the bullpen. Jose Bautista, Martin, Dioner Navarro, Reyes, Josh Donaldson and Dalton Pompey are among the position players who will be making the trip. Listen to the game live on a free, exclusive webcast.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.