Ceciliani slams Blue Jays past Twins

March 8th, 2016

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Darrell Ceciliani hit a grand slam and Gavin Floyd tossed three strong innings in the Blue Jays' 9-3 victory over the Twins on Tuesday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Ceciliani's first home run of the spring came in the first inning after Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak all singled. The 25-year-old outfielder then sent an 0-1 pitch from Tyler Duffey deep over the wall in right field for the grand slam.

Despite the rough first, Duffey did eventually settle down for the Twins and managed to get through three innings. He allowed four hits -- all in the first -- and issued a pair of walks with one strikeout. Left-hander Pat Dean entered in the fourth and later surrendered a solo homer to Minor League veteran David Adams.

Floyd continued to make his case for the final spot in Toronto's starting rotation as he continues to compete with Aaron Sanchez, Drew Hutchison and Jesse Chavez. Floyd tossed a clean first inning but then allowed a solo homer to Byung Ho Park in the second for his second home run of the spring.

Floyd pitching for spot in Blue Jays' rotation

The 33-year-old Floyd returned for the third inning and once again faced the minimum. He allowed just the one hit and didn't walk a batter while striking out two in his second outing of the spring. Right-hander Roberto Hernandez entered in relief and tossed two scoreless innings while retiring all six batters he faced and striking out two.

"It's just getting out there, getting adjusted to certain things and working on things you need to work on," Floyd said. "I felt like I had good rhythm and tempo. I just wanted to get after it and throw strikes. Even the home run pitch, my intent was to get after him. He took a good swing and I hear he has a good reputation but I'll get him [next time]."

Tulowitzki and Donaldson each had two hits for the Blue Jays, but it was a rough day at the plate for Minnesota. Through five innings, the Twins' only hit came on the home run by Park, but the club did receive a spark in the seventh when right fielder Miguel Sano hit a two-run shot to left field on a 2-1 pitch from Toronto reliever Steve Delabar.

Up next for the Twins: Left-hander Tommy Milone makes his second start of the spring for the Twins on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. CT against the Phillies at Hammond Stadium. Milone, competing for the final spot in the rotation, gave up one run in two innings his last time out. Closer Glen Perkins is also scheduled to see action.

Up next for the Blue Jays: Left-hander J.A. Happ will make his second start of the spring when the Blue Jays travel to Port Charlotte for a road game against the Rays on Wednesday afternoon, streaming live on a free, exclusive bluejays.com audio webcast at 1:05 p.m. ET. Happ is expected to throw three innings and will be followed on the mound by top prospect Connor Greene, Wade LeBlanc, Arnold Leon, David Aardsma, Pat Venditte and Scott Diamond. Some of the position players scheduled to make the trip include Chris Colabello, Darwin Barney, Ryan Goins, Kevin Pillar and Dalton Pompey.