Harrell, Palacios lead Jays against Bucs

February 28th, 2017
Joshua Palacios cracked his first spring big league home run vs. Pittsburgh. (Blue Jays)

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates starter breezed through two perfect innings in his first spring start, but the Blue Jays pounded 16 hits against the Bucs bullpen. Joshua Palacios, Mike Ohlman, and Matt Dean all homered as Toronto cruised to a 12-0 win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday at LECOM Park.

Jays starter tossed two no-hit innings to begin the shutout by eight Toronto pitchers. and Dwight Smith added two RBIs apiece. 

The Jays got to Pirates closer Tony Watson in the third inning, scoring three runs and sending Watson to an early exit. With two outs, Petit doubled home Jon Berti and , and plated another run with a single off Watson.

"I feel good. Results weren't what we wanted today, but kept going back to it. Got to get that fastball command going," Watson said. "Some pitches were there today; some weren't there. Execution will come with reps. That's what spring's for."

Nova made a quick Spring Training debut for the Pirates, retiring all six batters he faced in two perfect innings. The Jays only knocked two balls out of the infield against Nova, who is already scheduled to start Pittsburgh's home opener on April 7.

The Jays tacked on two runs in the sixth inning off . Palacios put the Jays ahead, 8-0, with a two-run drive to left field in the seventh off Pittsburgh reliever .

Ohlman, Diaz and Dean each went deep off Pirates reliever A.J. Schugel in the ninth inning.

"That's why you see a lot of younger guys on road trips early," Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale said. "You want them to see as many games as they can at this level and be able to draw on that."

The Pirates didn't get their first hit until the fourth inning, when Josh Harrison singled off .

Blue Jays up next: The Jays return home to host the Detroit Tigers in Dunedin on Wednesday in a game airing exclusively via a BlueJays.com audio webcast. Left-hander will start on the mound against last season's American League Rookie of the Year, . In his first appearance of the spring, Borucki threw one scoreless inning, allowing a hit with one strikeout and a walk. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Pirates up next: and will return to the lineup as the Pirates head south to play the Twins at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday in a game airing on Gameday Audio. Infielders Phil Gosselin and , competing for a bench spot, will play second base. will start at third with manning first and prospect at shortstop. Non-roster right-hander Josh Lindblom is scheduled to start. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.

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