Blue Jays, Orioles play power ball late in tie

Blue Jays, Orioles play power ball late in tie

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays and Orioles put on a late power display and settled for a 6-6 tie at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on Tuesday.

Toronto's Dalton Pompey hit a game-tying blast off Chris Lee in the ninth after the Orioles plated four in the eighth, started by Alfredo Marte's two-run dinger. Xavier Avery hit a go-ahead double and scored on Garabez Rosa's single to give the O's a 6-4 lead. The Blue Jays benefited from an error to score in the bottom of the frame.

"He's having a good spring," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons of Pompey, who hit his second homer. "He's just got to polish his game out all the way around. He's so young. He got to the big leagues quick, and I think he's had a good camp. ... He's right on schedule."

The score was knotted at 2 through the first 6 1/2 innings before Toronto's A.J. Jimenez hit a two-out, two-run shot.

The Orioles opened the scoring in the first, when newly signed Pedro Alvarez ripped a single off Jesse Chavez, scoring Ryan Flaherty. Chavez made his first spring start after three relief outings, allowing two runs on five hits in three innings.

"You have to be a lot finer without extra velocity," Chavez said. "It's nice to have it in your back pocket, but you might overthrow it. If you minimize the overthrow pitches, you'll be successful and the outings will be better."

"We just wanted to get his work in like anything else," Gibbons said. "We're still trying to make some decisions on who's doing what, but we know who he is. ... He's versatile, probably more than anybody we've got. We'll figure out the best role for him. It could be in a different role one way or another."

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The Blue Jays responded in the bottom of the inning, when Jose Bautista knocked a single of his own over short, plating Kevin Pillar. Two batters later, Chris Colabello knocked a base hit to left, making it 2-1 against Orioles starter Chris Tillman.

Tillman, making his spring debut, allowed two runs on five hits, while walking three in 1 2/3 innings.

"I would have liked to have made some better pitches," Tillman said. "I made a lot of good pitches with my fastball and could have stuck with that a bit more, but I wanted to get that feel for the breaking ball, which they made contact with. I threw quite a few of them today, and it was good, just a little inconsistent."

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Troy Tulowitzki nearly added more runs in the second, when he hit a well-struck ball to right field, but Nolan Reimold leaped and bobbled the ball before securing it to end the inning.

Baltimore evened the game at 2 in the third, when Joey Rickard, Flaherty and Jonathan Schoop hit consecutive singles. The Orioles would have probably scored more had Josh Donaldson not started a nice 5-4-3 double play off Reimold's bat.

Up next for the Orioles: Right-hander Kevin Gausman will take the hill for his second Grapefruit League start when Baltimore returns home to Ed Smith Stadium to host Pittsburgh on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET, live on MLB.TV. Gausman threw two scoreless innings and struck out three Rays on March 5 before pitching in a "B" game his next time out.

Up next for the Blue Jays: Toronto will play under the lights at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa against the Yankees in a 6:35 p.m. ET game Wednesday, live on MLB.TV. The starting pitcher for the Blue Jays will be Drew Hutchison, who has given up three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings of spring work as he battles to make the starting rotation.

Greg Zeck is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.