Arencibia's big day not enough for Blue Jays
SARASOTA, Fla.-- Nolan Reimold homered twice, bringing his spring total to four, pacing the Orioles as they rallied back from an early deficit to beat the Blue Jays, 6-5, Wednesday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.
The O's recovered from a five-run deficit in the second inning with a power surge, belting three homers in the second inning and two more in a three-run third.
J.J. Hardy and Reimold went back-to-back off Blue Jays starter Jeremy Jeffress -- who was scheduled to throw three innings as he competes for Toronto's long-reliever role, but lasted only two -- and Nate McLouth followed two batters later as the Orioles responded to Toronto's early outburst. Chris Davis opened the third inning with a homer before Reimold went yard again, this time off Guillermo Moscoso, who allowed three runs and five hits in his only inning of work.
"They have a very big jet stream here," Jeffress said of Ed Smith Stadium. "I'm not concerned. Some of the hits were off the end of the bat, and I felt like they didn't put a good swing on some of the hits. But I felt great about the overall work and what I did today."
Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts fouled a ball off his ankle in the sixth inning, and while he finished the at-bat, he exited in the top of the seventh along with the rest of the team's regulars having provided Baltimore with a lead. Roberts reached base three times and drove in the decisive run in the third with a single.
It gave the Orioles a lead they would not relinquish after the Blue Jays took a 5-0 lead through their first two trips to the plate, chasing starter Zach Britton after only 1 2/3 innings.
Emilio Bonifacio hit a two-run homer in the second, but J.P. Arencibia did the bulk of the damage for the Blue Jays, doubling twice as he went 3-for-4 with two doubles. He drove in three runs in the first, when Britton loaded the bases and surrendered a three-run double to Arencibia before recording a single out.
It did little to help Britton's cause as he competes for a rotation spot, lifting his ERA to 6.10 this spring after he allowed five runs on seven hits with a pair of walks.
Up next for the Blue Jays: Right-hander Claudio Vargas will take the mound Thursday afternoon, when the Blue Jays visit the Rays in a 1:05 p.m. ET start available via an exclusive webcast on bluejays.com. Vargas is expected to be followed by right-hander Ramon Ortiz and left-hander Brett Cecil, with each pitcher scheduled for three innings of work. Left-hander Ricky Romero will start in a Minor League game at the Bobby Mattick Training Center in Dunedin, Fla., as he continues to work on his new mechanics.