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Langerhans provides late power boost against O's

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Outfielder Ryan Langerhans hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning which allowed the Blue Jays to settle for a 6-6 tie with the Orioles on Tuesday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Langerhans' shot came off O's right-hander Zach Clark and snatched a victory away from Baltimore, which hit three homers earlier in the game off Toronto reliever Esmil Rogers.

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Steve Pearce led the way for the Orioles with two homers while Conor Jackson enjoyed a 3-for-3 day at the plate including a solo homer, two runs scored and an RBI.

Pearce was responsible for putting Baltimore on the scoreboard in the second inning with a two-run shot off Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ. It was Pearce's second of the spring and the first of four jacks on the day for the Orioles.

Despite the second-inning setback, Happ looked relatively strong on the mound in his second start of the spring. He allowed the two runs on six hits while striking out one in his three innings.

"I thought it went all right," Happ said. "I was glad to get through three innings. I was strong out there still in the third. I'll keep working, get the pitch count up and everything. I gave up some hits but I felt like they were balls through the infield for the most part. Overall, I feel good about it."

Most of the Baltimore's damage came in the sixth off Rogers, who is out of options on his contract and appears guaranteed a spot on Toronto's 25-man roster. Jackson led off the frame with a solo shot over the wall in left for his first of the spring. Pearce followed in the very next at-bat with a solo shot of his own while Luis Exposito closed things out with a two-run homer to left -- all in succession.

Rogers managed to get out of the inning, but not before he allowed the four runs on four hits while striking out a pair. Rogers has allowed five runs in four innings out of the bullpen this spring.

Emilio Bonifacio and Melky Cabrera led the way on offense for the Blue Jays. Bonifacio had a two-hit game -- including an RBI triple -- while Cabrera drove in a pair of runs to bring his spring total to four in seven games. Minor League infielder Andy LaRoche also got in on the action by hitting a solo home run in the second -- his third of the spring.

It was a day of mixed results for Baltimore right-handers Steve Johnson and Jair Jurrjens. The pair are competing for the final spot in the Orioles' rotation, but Johnson surrendered two runs in two innings while Jurrjens allowed three over 2 2/3 frames.

"Just the fastball command. I've been battling that a little bit," said Johnson, who started his outing with five consecutive balls. "It always comes around. It's just right now ... it's a little hit or miss. I felt like I threw a lot of good sliders. That was one positive out of today. I got a strikeout on one to end the first, threw my off-speed pitches for strikes. But fastball command is usually there for me and it just wasn't there to start the day. The second inning it kind of got away from me, too, but it will be there. I can do better."

Up next for the Blue Jays: Brandon Morrow will make his third start of the spring when the Blue Jays visit Detroit at 1:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. Morrow is expected to be followed by Aaron Loup, Brett Cecil, Ramon Ortiz, Dave Bush, Tommy Hottovy and Michael Schwimer. The vast majority of Toronto's regular position players will receive the day off and not make the trip.


Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB.

Toronto Blue Jays, Emilio Bonifacio, Melky Cabrera, J.A. Happ, Ryan Langerhans, Andy LaRoche