Saunders, Tulo power Blue Jays past Phillies

Saunders, Tulo power Blue Jays past Phillies

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Michael Saunders hit a pair of home runs and Troy Tulowitzki added one of his own in the Blue Jays' 9-6 victory over the Phillies on Saturday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Saunders hit a three-run shot in the first inning off Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola and later added a two-run shot in the third off reliever Elvis Araujo. Toronto's veteran outfielder also added a single in the fifth to finish his day 3-for-3 with five RBIs.

Saunders's second homer

"To tell you the truth, I was happier with my third at-bat," Saunders said. "I was able to hit the ball hard the other day, and I think that's when I start going good, when I start driving the ball the other way, letting the ball travel and staying on it. I'm just getting more and more comfortable with every at-bat."

Tulowitzki, who started the game out of the leadoff spot to get extra at-bats, recorded his first home run of the spring with a solo shot deep over the wall in left. It was his first hit of the spring, and he finished the afternoon 1-for-3. The other standout on offense included Chris Colabello, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.

Nola was charged with four runs on four hits and a walk over his two innings of work. Araujo allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in one inning, while right-hander Reinier Roibal surrendered three runs -- none earned -- on four hits and a strikeout in two innings.

Lake's RBI double

"I wasn't really commanding the baseball. My pitches were pretty much over the plate, and they made me pay for them. I was getting behind in the count," Nola said. "My first-pitch strikes [4 of 10] weren't too good today."

Right-hander Drew Hutchison got the start for Toronto, and he pitched a clean first inning before loading the bases in the second. He allowed one run, which scored on a hit batter, while also walking one and allowing one hit over his two innings.

Moore's RBI hit-by-pitch

Catcher Logan Moore doubled in the fourth inning for Philadelphia, and third baseman Taylor Featherston hit a solo shot in the fifth. The Phillies also added back-to-back two-out doubles in the ninth to bring the final score to 9-6. With the win, Toronto improved to 4-0-1 in the Grapefruit League season, while the Phillies dropped to 2-3-1.

Up next for the Phillies: Charlie Morton will make his first appearance of the spring -- and first in a Phillies uniform -- when he takes the ball at Bright House Field on Sunday in a 1:05 p.m. ET matchup with the Yankees, live on MLB.TV. The veteran right-hander, whom the Phillies obtained from the Pirates in December for Minor League righty David Whitehead, went 9-9 with a 4.81 ERA in 23 starts for Pittsburgh last year. The Yankees will counter with Masahiro Tanaka.

Up next for the Blue Jays: Right-hander Marcus Stroman will make his second start of the spring when the Blue Jays visit the Astros in a 1:05 p.m. ET start on Sunday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium. Stroman is expected to throw 2-3 innings, and he will be followed on the mound by right-hander Jesse Chavez, who is competing for the final spot in the rotation. Other pitchers include Ben Rowen and Joe Biagini while the position-player roster has yet to be announced.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.