Longoria reps Rays in Stroman's Classic tuneup

March 5th, 2017

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- struck out three in his final start before the World Baseball Classic and Steve Pearce had two RBIs in the Blue Jays' 5-3 loss to the Rays on Sunday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Stroman, who will pitch for Team USA in the Classic, allowed four hits in 2 2/3 innings and one run on 's two-out single that scored Corey Dickerson in the third.

"I felt great," said Stroman, who threw 48 pitches. "I got to mix … all my pitches. I worked on tempo, delivery. I feel great going into [the Classic with Team] USA."

Making his first spring start at designated hitter as he continues recovering from September surgery to repair the flexor tendons in his right elbow, Pearce drove in with a sacrifice fly off Rays starter Alex Cobb in the second inning. Pearce followed in the sixth with a line-drive single to center that brought home prospect Jon Berti.

Cobb allowed a run on three hits, with a strikeout in three innings.

"I would say the results weren't great," Cobb said. "But I'd say I threw some good pitches and had some defenders in good position to get me out of [bad situations]. But overall, great day because I'm getting so much more information back on what my pitches are doing when I make little adjustments here and there. So what the essence of Spring Training is for, today was a good day."

Pearce is expected to remain at DH for the next two weeks before gradually working his way back into the field. In the meantime, the 33-year-old -- who signed a two-year, $12.5 million contract with Toronto after splitting last season with the Rays and Orioles -- continues progressing through a throwing program.

Tampa Bay rallied with three runs in the eighth on back-to-back singles by and 2014 first-round Draft pick and a fielding error by Toronto center fielder . capped the scoring on another error in the ninth.


Rays Up Next: The Rays are off on Monday before traveling to Tampa on Tuesday afternoon for a 1:05 p.m. ET contest against the Yankees in an MLB.TV broadcast. Jake Odorizzi will make his second start of the spring. Also scheduled to pitch are , , , , and .

Blue Jays Up Next: Following an off-day on Monday, J.A. Happ will make his second spring start on Tuesday against Team Canada in a World Baseball Classic exhibition at 1:07 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. The left-hander struck out two in a pair of scoreless innings on Thursday against the Phillies.

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