Stroman throws 2 perfect frames in debut

February 27th, 2017

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The pitchers were definitely ahead of the hitters when the Pirates defeated the Blue Jays, 2-1, on Monday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

The Blue Jays didn't get their first hit until first baseman led off the bottom of the fifth with a single up the middle against , the third Bucs pitcher.

Meanwhile, the Pirates didn't hit a ball out of the infield in the first two innings against Blue Jays right-hander , then broke the scoreless tie with the help of some heads up baserunning in the fourth.

After led off with a double against left-hander , walked. With one out, Marte and Polanco pulled a double steal, setting up a sacrifice fly by .

Stroman was pleased with the way he threw.

"I had a good mix of everything," he said. "[Catcher ] did a great job of kind of mixing all my pitches. Slider, curveball, cutter, change, heater, sinker. I have a good amount of weapons to attack hitters and I'm extremely confident this year and ready to go."

The Pirates tacked on a run in the sixth when led off with a double against Danny Barnes. He advanced on an infield out and scored when Barnes was called for a balk.


Right-hander , on the "inside track" for one of two remaining spots in the Pirates rotation, tossed two perfect innings in his Grapefruit League debut. Kuhl showed the form Pittsburgh expects in the first inning, inducing a weak tap back to the mound from then striking out (looking) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (swinging).

"Today was nice, just to see another jersey and see somebody that isn't on your team so you can get some real feedback on what you've been working on, things like that," Kuhl said. "It's also getting your feet wet and getting ready for the season."

The Blue Jays made more contact in the second, but the Bucs' new-look outfield cleaned it up. Left fielder Polanco sprinted into foul territory for the inning's second out, and center fielder Marte hustled back to track down the third out.

The Blue Jays ended the shutout in the sixth when Pillar doubled with two outs then Bautista followed with a single up the middle to plate pinch-runner


Pirates: Right-hander will make his first start of the spring as the Blue Jays visit LECOM Park on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. Nova is already set to start the Bucs' home opener against the Braves on April 7. Most of the projected Opening Day bullpen will follow Nova, including closer Tony Watson, setup men and , and middle relievers and .

Blue Jays: With manager John Gibbons pushing most of his rotation back as a result of playing deep into the postseason each of the last two years, non-roster right-hander will get the start when the Blue Jays travel to Bradenton to play the Pirates on Tuesday. First pitch is 1:05 p.m. ET. "That was the plan coming in," Gibbons said of holding J.A. Happ, , and out until later in Grapefruit League play. Designated hitter is the only regular position player scheduled to be at McKechnie Field.

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