“Very few guys do it, but the guys that do it, they have success,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “Good or bad, it’s over fast.”
Making his second start of spring training, Buehrle allowed one run and three hits in two innings Friday as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4. Buehrle struck out two and walked two, finishing by retiring Sean Rodriguez on a flyout to escape a bases-loaded jam.
“I know it’s spring training and results don’t matter as much, but I still like to get outs,” Buehrle said. “I don’t like getting hit around, giving up runs. It was a pride factor.”
Buehrle wasn’t proud to have walked Desmond Jennings twice. He did joke about his strikeouts of Rodriguez and Tim Beckham.
“A couple of guys thought they were changeups,” he said. “No. That was my fastball.'”
Jennings singled in his only other plate appearance in the fifth, then stole two bases and scored his second run on Sean Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly. Shelley Duncan then tied the score at 3 with a solo homer.
Rays starter Jake Odorizzi struck out two in the first, including Jose Bautista after third baseman Chris Gimenez failed to locate his foul popup near the line.
Toronto took a 3-1 lead in the second on a two-run homer by Brett Lawrie and a solo shot by Ricardo Nanita.
Loser Mike Montgomery allowed two runs, three hits and a walk in the sixth, giving up RBI singles to Andy LaRoche and Adam Loewen
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon only wants to become familiar with the left-hander, acquired with outfielder Wil Myers, Patrick Leonard and Odorizzi in the offseason trade that James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City.
“The expectations are just to watch. I swear, I don’t have any,” Maddon said. “I don’t want him to come out there and feel like he’s going to make it. He’s not going to make the club right now. There are a lot of things that have to happen.
“The big thing is for him to come out here and be comfortable, hopefully find that little mental thing that permits him to get back to 95, 96 (mph) on a more consistent basis and get people out. He’s really high end. Montgomery’s got great stuff, and it’s just a matter of him mentally understanding what he can do and going ahead and doing it. But he could be really good.”
Dave Bush pitched one scoreless inning for his second spring training victory. Non-roster pitcher Neil Wagner pitched the ninth for the save.
NOTES: Toronto won for the first time in five spring training home games. … Former Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph threw the ceremonial first pitch.