Burnett dominant in Jays' win over Pirates
Starter strikes out four, walks one in four-inning start
BLUE JAYS 4, PIRATES 1
at Dunedin, Fla.
Wednesday, March 12
Pirates at the plate: Pittsburgh broke through against Toronto starter A.J. Burnett in the third inning with a pair of doubles. Third baseman Jose Bautista opened the frame with a two-base hit and came around to score two batters later, when outfielder Nate McLouth added a double of his own. McLouth finished 3-for-3 at the plate, including another double in the first inning and a single in the fifth.
Blue Jays at the plate: Vernon Wells' left shoulder, which was likely the culprit behind the center fielder's poor showing at the plate last season, hardly looked like an issue on Wednesday. Wells lifted a 1-2 offering deep to left field in the fourth inning for a solo homer -- his first of the spring. Shortstop David Eckstein singled and scored in the first. Outfielders Adam Lind and Matt Watson added RBI singles in the eighth inning.
Pirates on the mound: Left-hander Zach Duke made his second start of Spring Training for Pittsburgh and allowed two runs on five hits, including Wells' home run, in four innings of work. Duke induced seven outs via grounder, struck out one batter and walked none, completing his outing in 66 pitches (44 strikes).
Blue Jays on the mound: Burnett turned in four innings, surrendering a lone run on four hits against the Pirates' lineup. The right-hander tallied four strikeouts, issued one walk, and induced six outs via ground ball. Burnett, who has been dealing with a right index fingernail issue that has prohibited him from using his curveball, finished with 52 pitches (36 strikes).
Grapefruit League records: Pirates 4-9; Blue Jays 5-9.
Pirates up next: The Bucs head east across Tampa Bay to face the Yankees in Tampa, Fla., in a 1:15 p.m. ET game on Thursday. Paul Maholm will start for Pittsburgh against New York right-hander Mike Mussina. Jaret Wright, Damaso Marte, Byung-Hyun Kim, John Grabow and Hector Carrasco are also expected to pitch for the Pirates.
Blue Jays up next: The Jays make the trek to Winter Haven, Fla., for a 1:05 p.m. ET tilt against the Indians on Thursday. Toronto right-hander Shaun Marcum is scheduled to start, followed by relief appearances for John Parrish, Randy Wells, Shawn Camp and Jean Machi. Cleveland will send right-hander Fausto Carmona to the hill for his third spring start.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.