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Lincoln battles command in first start of spring

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Right-hander Brad Lincoln got the start for Toronto but was unable to finish his lone inning of work as the Astros walked all over the Blue Jays in a 10-1 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Lincoln allowed four runs on three hits and a walk while throwing just 12 of his 24 pitches for strikes. The 27-year-old likely will attempt to throw two innings his next time out in an effort to transition to a possible starting role in the Minor Leagues.

"Just go out there and try to feel good," Lincoln said. "This early in spring you're still going to be knocking off the rust a little bit, but you still have to take some things out of it and work on some things between outings.

"Anybody that's out on the bump, playing the field or in the box, they want to compete and they want to do good but when things go bad, you have to take the good things out of it and work on what went wrong."

Shortstop Jose Reyes led the way for Toronto on offense, going 3-for-3. Catcher J.P. Arencibia also enjoyed a strong day at the plate as he recorded a leadoff solo home run in the third inning off Wesley Wright for his first shot of the spring.

Center fielder George Springer recorded a pair of homers and five RBIs to lead the Astros. His first shot came in the fourth when he sent an offering from right-hander Jeremy Jeffress over the wall in right field.

The 23-year-old struck again in the fifth with right-hander Claudio Vargas on the mound for Toronto. This time it was a two-run shot, and Springer finished the afternoon 2-for-3, also reaching base in the seventh when he was hit by a pitch.

Alex White made his debut on the mound for the Astros after arriving in an offseason trade with Colorado. He faced a lineup that could resemble the one Toronto uses on Opening Day and managed to get through his two innings unscathed.

White, who is competing for a spot in the starting rotation, allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out one. He threw 14 of his 25 pitches for strikes in what will go down as a strong first appearance of the spring.

"It was good to get out there and get some work in," White said. "I felt really good. There were a few things I wanted to work on mechanically with my delivery and it felt great today. If I can stay consistent in my delivery, I think my command is pretty good."

Other standouts for the Astros included right fielder J.D. Martinez, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and designated hitter Fernando Martinez scored a pair of runs and drove in two more.

Up next for Blue Jays: Brandon Morrow will get the start for the Blue Jays when they travel to Tampa to take on the Yankees at George Steinbrenner Field in a 1:05 p.m. ET start Thursday. Left-hander J.A. Happ also is set to face the Yankees for one inning -- less than a week after he accidentally struck Curtis Granderson with a pitch that broke his right forearm. Other pitchers scheduled to appear include Sergio Santos, Aaron Loup, Brett Cecil and Evan Crawford.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB.
Read More: Toronto Blue Jays, Brad Lincoln, J.P. Arencibia