Two-run home run part of damage inflicted on Blue Jays right-hander Morrow
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Pirates roughed up right-hander Brandon Morrow over three innings en route to a 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Former Toronto outfielder Travis Snider led the way for the Pirates by going 3-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs. His home run off Morrow in the third inning was a no-doubter to right-center field. Snider also scored a run and had an RBI single in the first.
Neil Walker also was a standout on offense while getting the start at designated hitter. Pittsburgh's regular second baseman went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and first baseman Gaby Sanchez added an RBI double in the second inning.
"It was good to see," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Snider and Sanchez combining to go 4-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored. "We're not surprised when players have success. They have both worked extremely hard this winter to get into good places physically. And now they're getting the at-bats and the opportunity to show the payoff."
Morrow struggled during his second appearance -- and first start -- of the spring. Toronto's No. 2 starter allowed five runs on six hits while walking one and striking out two. Morrow threw 31 of his 48 pitches for strikes.
Right-hander Jay Jackson got the start for Pittsburgh and was relatively flawless in his two innings. His lone blemish came in the second, when Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro hit a two-out single to right field. Jackson retired the next batter and got four of his six outs via relatively weak fly balls.
The Blue Jays went on the offensive in the third inning by scoring two runs off Duke Welker, who was able to record just two outs. Toronto then added two more runs in the fourth off right-hander Jake Brigham, who was eventually able to settle down and get through two innings.
Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion had another productive day at the plate with a two-run double to left in the third. It was Encarnacion's third extra-base hit of the spring in 14 at-bats; he now has four RBIs during the Grapefruit League season.
Second baseman Chris Getz and left fielder John Tolleson also had an RBI each for the Blue Jays.
Up next: The Bucs will run out a rare all-right-handed-hitting lineup against left-hander Mark Buehrle, scheduled to start for the Blue Jays in the 1:05 p.m. ET rematch on McKechnie Field, live exclusively on a pirates.com webcast. It will also mark the 2014 debut of the 3M Company -- Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer and Andrew McCutchen atop the lineup. Gerrit Cole is due to make his second spring start for the Pirates.