Francis joins Blue Jays, tosses scoreless relief in debut

Veteran lefty strong out of 'pen on day Toronto selects his contract from Triple-A Buffalo

Francis joins Blue Jays, tosses scoreless relief in debut

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays added some length to their bullpen on Sunday morning by selecting the contract of left-hander Jeff Francis from Triple-A Buffalo.

Francis was added to the roster one day after Toronto used four relievers in a 6-5 win over the Braves that went 10 innings. Lefty Colt Hynes, who faced two batters in that game, was optioned to Buffalo in the corresponding move.

The addition of Francis proved to be wise, because he was pressed into action during the fifth inning during Sunday afternoon's 5-2 loss to the Braves. Lefty starter Daniel Norris lasted 2 2/3 innings, which opened the door for Francis, who came on an tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

"I think we got a huge outing out of Francis," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Really kept us in the game, really saved our bullpen, because we were pretty short down there, so that was big."

The 34-year-old Francis made one start for Buffalo this season and tossed five scoreless innings. He signed a Minor League deal during the offseason and was one of the final cuts at Spring Training.

Francis became the 22nd Canadian-born player to appear in a game for the Blue Jays. He had a career record of 71-80 with a 4.95 ERA in 240 games, with 217 starts, before making his debut in Toronto, where he'll exclusively work out of the bullpen.

Hynes made the team out of camp after a flawless spring. He didn't allow an earned run in 13 Grapefruit League games, but he experienced mixed results in Toronto. Hynes made five appearances and allowed two earned runs in three innings of work.

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.