Ceciliani's grand slam powers Blue Jays

March 17th, 2017

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- , who is vying for a spot on the Blue Jays roster, drove in five runs with a grand slam and a triple Friday to lift Toronto to a 7-5 Grapefruit League win over the Phillies at Spectrum Field.

"[Ceciliani] is having a great spring,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I've always been a fan of his. He's just a good hard-nosed baseball player. He's just waiting for an opportunity to open up.''

Phillies left fielder , acquired from the Dodgers because the front office wanted to add a professional bat to the lineup, hit a three-run homer in the third, and added a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth.

"Good to see Kendrick hit the ball hard," said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin. "Everybody loves three-run home runs. And [hitting coach] Matt Stairs made a big adjustment to his stance, and it seems to be paying off. He's had some real good at-bats, and that home run was a bomb."

Toronto trailed by one with two out and nobody on in the top of the fifth, then batted around with seven straight batters reaching while five runs scored against starter and reliever .

The rally started when walked and beat out a slow roller to third. At that point, Nola had thrown 75 pitches and came out of the game. Lively hit with a pitch to load the bases and walked to force in a run, setting the stage for Ceciliani's first home run of the spring. and singled by the inning's end.

Ceciliani also tripled after Carrera singled and stole second in the fourth. Nola, the Phillies' No. 1 Draft choice in 2014 who missed the final two months of last season with a strained elbow, has a 6.75 ERA after four spring starts.


Blue Jays starter was charged with three runs, two earned, despite giving up just one hit in his 3 2/3 innings. With one out in the bottom of the third, non-roster third baseman walked and reached on catcher's interference called on Saltalamacchia. Kendrick homered on the next pitch.

Pat Venditte struck out the side in the ninth in his Phillies debut.

Blue Jays Up Next: The Blue Jays will host the Rays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on Saturday. First pitch is set for 1:07 p.m. ET. Right-hander Mat Latos (0-1, 7.88) starts for the Blue Jays for his second start and fifth appearance of the spring. It's the third and final Blue Jays-Rays matchup of the spring. The game can be seen on MLB.TV.

Phillies Up Next: The Phillies face the Pirates for the first time this spring Saturday at Spectrum Field. Veteran right-hander will make his team-high fifth Grapefruit League start, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. , and are also expected to pitch. The game can be seen on MLB.TV.

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