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Fast start, solid Buehrle boost Jays in loss to Bucs

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Mark Buehrle allowed one run in 3 2/3 innings on Wednesday in the Blue Jays' eventual 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Pirates in Grapefruit League play.

Buehrle allowed four hits, walked one and did not have a strikeout.

"I was glad to get out and get up and down four times," Buehrle said of pitching into the fourth. "Obviously, pitch count was good, but when you're resting, have to wait five or 10 minutes between outings and have to get up each inning -- that's also helping build up too. Walks, I was trying to get a little too fine in a couple of situations, but overall felt good."

A record crowd of 8,439 at McKechnie Field saw an impressive outing by starter James McDonald.

McDonald recovered from a rough start to become the first Pirates pitcher this spring to work into the sixth inning.

Four of Toronto's first five batters reached base -- including Emilio Bonifacio on an infield single which third baseman Pedro Alvarez threw wildly for an error that scored one run. Adam Lind followed soon after with an RBI single.

From that point on, McDonald retired 14 of 16 batters until leaving following a one-out single in the sixth by Lind -- who eventually scored on Mike Nickeas' single off reliever Mark Melancon to give Toronto a 3-1 lead. McDonald allowed five hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings, with two walks and five strikeouts.

The Pirates had cut the deficit to 2-1 in the third when Starling Marte tripled and scored on Andrew McCutchen's single.

With the Bucs trailing, 4-1, in the eighth, Josh Harrison made it 4-2 with an RBI single off Neil Wagner, and Pittsburgh tied it with two runs in the bottom of the ninth.

Felix Pie led off the ninth with a home run off Tyson Brummett, Toronto's sixth pitcher. Pinch-hitter Lucas May walked and pinch-runner Dan Grovatt advanced to second on Alex Presley's grounder before scoring on a two-out ground-rule double by Harrison, his fourth consecutive hit in the last two games, to make it 4-4.

The Pirates won the game in the home half of the 10th.

Up next: Josh Johnson will take the mound when the Blue Jays host the Yankees in a 1:05 ET start on Thursday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Johnson is scheduled for four innings and likely will be followed by Esmil Rogers, Brett Cecil, Alex Hinshaw and Tommy Hottovy. This will mark Johnson's fourth appearance of the spring. To date, he has allowed just one run on two hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.
Read More: Toronto Blue Jays, Mark Buehrle