In NL park, pitchers get first chance to hit

In NL park, pitchers get first chance to hit

In NL park, pitchers get first chance to hit
ATLANTA -- For the first time this season, the Blue Jays are on the road for an Interleague series, meaning this weekend presents their pitchers with their first opportunity to get into the batter's box.

Manager John Farrell said the Blue Jays pitchers have been working on hitting for the last month in preparation for Interleague Play.

"We've spent the last four weeks in between their starts, either individually or as a group, with bunting drills, with [batting practice]," he said.

Right-hander Kyle Drabek, who started Friday, walked through the clubhouse with a pair of bats before the game. Drabek never had a plate appearance in the Major Leagues, so Farrell isn't expecting him or the rest of the staff to do much at the plate.

"We look at it like, if we're in a situation where they've got to execute a sacrifice bunt, anything above and beyond that, we'll take it as a plus," Farrell said. "This is a different style of game than we're used to. Running the bases, all those things are part of their role as we get into National League parks."

Blue Jays pitchers were a combined 2-for-26 in Interleague Play last year. Left-hander Ricky Romero, who is scheduled to start Sunday's series finale, had one hit and the other belonged to left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes, who is no longer with the team.