CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) Jose Bautista extended his torrid spring training with a double and Esmil Rogers gave up just one run in five innings Thursday as the Blue Jays beat a Philadelphia Phillies’ split squad 3-1.
Bautista went 1 for 3, and is hitting .359 with five homers, four doubles and 11 RBIs. Erik Kratz homered twice and was 3 for 3, and Moises Sierra also connected for Toronto.
Phillies starter David Buchanan gave up two of the homers but was sharp otherwise. Buchanan, who has a decent shot to make the team, gave up the two runs and struck out six in four innings. Buchanan started six games in Triple-A last year.
Tony Gwynn Jr. went 2 for 2 with a double, a run and a walk. Chase Utley drove in Gwynn with a first-inning double for the Phillies’ only run.
Blue Jays: Esmil Rogers enjoyed his finest outing of the spring, allowing just one run over 4 2-3 innings.
Rogers is unlikely to make the Blue Jays’ rotation, but could land a spot on the opening-day roster as a long bullpen arm. He has a 5.27 ERA this spring.
”It doesn’t matter where I’m going to be I just want to help the team win,” Rogers said. ”It doesn’t matter if it’s in the bullpen or as a starter. Right now, they gave me an opportunity to compete for a spot so I’m going to do my best.”
Phillies: Buchanan, 25, is in his first major league spring training camp, and looks to have a solid shot to either join the Phillies’ hurting rotation or nab a spot in the bullpen as a long reliever.
Buchanan’s runs came on back-to-back homers in the second inning.
”I was impressed with his composure,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. ”He had a couple of balls that were connected on, one was an 0-2 breaking pitch, he kept his composure, actually came inside on a couple of hitters after that to keep them honest. I thought he rebounded well there to minimize.”
Phillies: Darin Ruf was scratched from the Phillies’ split-squad lineup in Kissimmee, Fla., after straining his left oblique during batting practice. He will visit with team doctors Saturday.
The injury will likely cause Ruf, a leading candidate for a bench job, to miss opening day.
”He’s a guy competing, obviously, with what he’s doing and his ability, his right-handed bat, he’s competing for a bench job,” Sandberg said. ”We’ll see what that means.”
Ruf is hitting .217 this spring with two homers and seven RBIs.
Tony Gwynn Jr., who signed a minor league deal with the Phillies this winter, is making a good impression on Phillies coaches this spring.
Gwynn went 2 for 3 Thursday. He’s hitting .346 and provides crucial depth for a team thin on outfielders. It’s a strong possibility Gwynn begins the season on the 25-man roster.
”He’s a bright spot,” Sandberg said. ”His defense, his at-bats, his base running, are quality.”
The Blue Jays have claimed outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks. To make room on the 40-man roster, they cut left-hander Luis Perez.
Tuiasosopo appeared in 16 games this spring for the Diamondbacks, hitting .118 with six RBIs in 34 at-bats. He hit .244 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 81 games last year for Detroit.