Notes: Parrish dominant against Tigers
Non-roster invitee fans seven, walks none in three innings
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- John Parrish's longest stint in the Major Leagues lasted 56 games and came with the Orioles in 2004. If a few minor adjustments to his delivery pan out, his tenure with the Blue Jays may last much longer.
The 30-year-old left-hander struck out seven of the 10 Detroit batters he faced on Saturday, inducing two flyouts, although he unfortunately surrendered a solo homer to the other batter.
Following his outing, Parrish was enthusiastic about his day.
"When I first got here, I was throwing strikes, but I wasn't happy with the results," said Parrish, who tossed 44 pitches, including 29 strikes. "My last outing wasn't that hot, so [the coaching staff] worked with me in the bullpen on getting a higher leg kick. So I stayed back the last three days. Repetition, repetition. I got locked in, and now I feel like I can go out there and just do my thing."
The 5-foot-11 southpaw was dominant in his approach and results, as he threw first-pitch strikes to seven of 10 batters, six of which resulted in strikeouts.
"I wanted to try to do that today with two strikes," said Parrish, who was signed to a Minor League deal in the offseason and is a non-roster invitee. "I tried to focus on putting guys away when I was ahead in the count, and I did that a few times today."
Parrish said that the coaching staff has helped him maintain a straighter line to the plate. Additionally, Parrish has learned to stop throwing across his body, as he had previously been doing. Either way, his performance on Saturday opened some eyes and made a believer out of the one fan who counts most.
"Whew, he looked good, didn't he?" Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I tell you what, he looks great. It's tough to find a good left-handed arm. He's always had a good arm, but now he has a great one."
Gibbons has said that while Parrish put in a solid three innings on Saturday, the team would look at him as a long reliever, rather than a starter.
Whatever role he fills, Parrish will cherish the opportunity.
"I'm just looking to do whatever they ask me to," Parrish said. "And hopefully it's up here [in the Majors]."
Marc it up: Shaun Marcum allowed two runs, one earned, on one hit and two walks with one strikeout over three innings on Saturday. The right-hander, who made his second start of the spring, tossed 45 pitches, including 28 strikes. Marcum surrendered a solo homer to Tigers first baseman Mike Hessman in the second innning and was victimized by an error in the third, which allowed the second one to score.
Marcum induced groundouts from the first four batters he faced, before allowing a flyout and then the home run. The righty finished the inning by striking out Tigers designated hitter James Skelton.
Marcum's day got rough in the third inning when he walked the first two batters he faced and, after a flyout, hit a batter to load the bases. After Blue Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg visited the mound, Marcum seemed as if he would escape the inning without allowing a run as he struck out Jacque Jones and Miguel Cabrera hit a grounder to third. Scott Rolen had difficulty to handling it, however, and a run scored. Marcum recovered to force a groundout to end the inning.
"It was actually a good thing, because I was able to deal with a situation that you face during the season," Marcum said. "I threw well the first two innings, but I was just having trouble getting balanced there in the third. After talking [to Arnsberg], I got settled and found my groove again."
A first for everything: Rolen hit his first home run in a Blue Jays uniform when he crushed a 1-0 offering from Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman over the left-field wall. Rolen said he was excited to get the first one out of the way.
"It's always good to get one there because then the rest come a little easier," said Rolen, who was acquired in an offseason trade for Troy Glaus.
Little by little: Shannon Stewart, who entered Saturday's game with only one hit in 10 at-bats, went 2-for-3 with two doubles.
"I still feel like I'm a week behind everyone else but I'm coming along," said Stewart, who was signed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training on Feb. 24. "I'm starting to get a good sense of what I'm trying to do out there."
Game bits: Aaron Hill went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. ... Matt Stairs went 1-for-2 with a run scored. ... Lyle Overbay went 1-for-3 with a run scored. ... Gustavo Chacin pitched one scoreless inning with one strikeout.
Up next: The Blue Jays travel to Clearwater, Fla., to face the Phillies at Bright House Field on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET, for the second spring meeting between the two teams. Right-hander Jesse Litsch will make the start for Toronto, while Phildelphia will counter with righty Kyle Kendrick.
Chris Girandola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.