Bautista homers, Sanchez stifles Rays in first start

Bautista homers, Sanchez stifles Rays in first start

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- With an hour less sleep, the bats were slow to wake up in both dugouts for the Blue Jays and Rays on Sunday. Then came the third inning, the alarm clocks sounded and Toronto's bats promptly sprung forward.

The result was the Blue Jays picking up their sixth win in their past seven spring games, beating the Rays, 6-1, behind Jose Bautista's first spring homer before a sellout crowd at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Getting the start in place of the injured Matt Andriese, Tampa Bay starter Taylor Guerrieri retired six of his first seven batters, but was roughed up in the third for four runs. After giving up back-to-back singles, a walk to Josh Donaldson would load the bases for Bautista. Before Bautista could even dig in, Guerrieri delivered a wild pitch that brought home the first run of the game.

"I don't think anything in my demeanor changed," Guerrieri said. "I just didn't execute my pitches and I think it showed."

The wild pitch would deprive Bautista of a grand slam, as he would precede to drill a towering home run off the light pole in left field for a three-run homer. It was Bautista's first hit of the spring, but it was only his third game and seventh at-bat of the exhibition season.

Bautista's first blast off Guerrieri was a nice complement to his pitcher's first start of the spring. Aaron Sanchez would give up a leadoff double to Brandon Guyer and then settle down in a big way, retiring his next 11 batters.

Sanchez shut out the Rays for four innings, striking out four and only walking a batter for a solid spring debut.

"I liked everything about that outing, except that two-out walk there at the end," Sanchez said. "But overall a good day."

Up next for the Rays: Chris Archer will make his third start of the spring when the Rays travel to the Orlando area on Monday afternoon to face the Braves in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest. Archer is expected to be the Rays' Opening Day starter. Right-hander Julio Teheran will start for the Braves.

Up next for the Blue Jays: Toronto is off on Monday, but will resume play on Tuesday in Dunedin against the Baltimore Orioles at 1:07 p.m. ET. Jesse Chavez will get the start, and he'll be followed by Brett Cecil, Drew Storen, Roberto Osuna and Chad Jenkins.

Mike Nabors is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.