Toronto at Pittsburgh

W: W. Rodriguez (1-0) L: J. Happ (0-2)
HR: TOR - M. Tuiasosopo (1)   PIT - W. Rodriguez (1),J. Tabata (1),S. Marte (2)

Pirates get 29 hits, trounce Blue Jays 22-5


BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) Pitcher Wandy Rodriguez contributed a two-run homer and RBI single as the Pittsburgh Pirates got 29 hits Tuesday and routed the Toronto Blue Jays 22-5.

Starling Marte and Jose Tabata each homered and drove in four runs. Marte got five hits and Tabata had four. The Pirates finished with nine extra-base hits.

In his first at-bat of the spring, Rodriguez hit a full-count fastball from J.A. Happ into the Pirates' bullpen in right field.

''It's a 3-2 count and I knew the fastball was coming,'' Rodriguez said with a laugh. ''I made good contract and the wind helped me, too. I don't have a lot of power.''

Rodriguez added his single in an eight-run fourth inning.

Rodriguez made his final start of spring training, working 4 2-3 innings and allowing three runs on six hits and four walks.

Matt Tuiasosopo hit a solo home run for Toronto.

Happ did not help his bid to claim a job in Toronto's rotation. He faced 20 batters in three-plus innings and allowed seven runs and 12 hits.

''I was throwing a lot of strikes on a tough-conditions day,'' Happ said. ''They were putting the ball in play. I feel good about throwing the ball in the zone, but this is one start that I've just got to try to get over.''


Blue Jays: With a 20.57 ERA after five outings, Happ might not beat out Dustin McGowan for the final open spot in the starting rotation. Happ, however, said he came to camp believing the job was his and doesn't believe it's in jeopardy.

''I don't know who's all saying things have changed,'' he said. ''I guess I'm not part of those conversations. I haven't had one with anybody who's telling me things are changing. It's you (media) guys saying that. I take positives and move forward, and I plan on getting better.''

Happ has been bothered by a sore back, but said he feels fine now. Would he be willing to pitch in relief if he doesn't crack the rotation?

''I'm not thinking about that,'' he said. ''I'll answer that question if one of the bosses decides he needs to ask me that. We'll deal with that then.''

McGowan pitched in a minor league game and allowed three hits in four innings. He likely will start another minor league game Sunday.

Pirates: As the No. 3 starter in the rotation, Rodriguez is scheduled to make his season debut April 4 against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. Last year, he made only 12 starts due to chronic forearm pain and went 6-4 with a 3.59 ERA. He will be a free agent after this season.

''I feel very happy because when I started spring training, I was thinking a lot about my arm,'' Rodriguez said. ''Every time I throw, I feel good.''


Pirates: Left-hander Francisco Liriano (groin) will throw off a mound Wednesday in a simulated game. If the injury has not improved and he must start the season on the disabled list, right-hander Brandon Cumpton is a possible replacement. Cumpton replaced Edinson Volquez as the scheduled starter Wednesday against Minnesota. Volquez instead will throw two or three innings in a simulated game.


Pirates: First baseman Andrew Lambo was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, which means non-roster invitee Travis Ishikawa likely will begin the season as the Pirates' backup first baseman.

''I looked at other situations last winter,'' Ishikawa said. ''The thought of playing time, good chance of making the club, was definitely more positive here than other places.''

Lambo, who was converted this spring from an outfielder to first baseman, hit .095 with a .269 on-base plus slugging percentage in 17 games. Ishikawa, a natural first baseman, is batting .333.

''Andrew exceeded expectations defensively,'' general manager Neal Huntington said. ''Offensively, the results weren't there. He faced a lot of fastball-count offspeed pitches. In our mind, the right thing to do to get him back on track was to have him start the season in Indianapolis.''

Blue Jays: Tuiasosopo continued his six-day audition for a backup outfielder job after being claimed off waivers from Arizona. He went 1 for 4 and is 2 for 7 in two games with Toronto.


Pirates: Outfielder Jaff Decker and reliever Jared Hughes were optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Pitchers Adam Wilk, Jay Jackson, Zack Thornton and Daniel Schlereth; outfielder Chris Dickerson; catcher Omir Santos; and infielders Robert Andino and Michael Martinez were reassigned to minor league camp.

The Pirates acquired right-hander Vance Worley from the Twins for cash considerations and assigned him to minor league camp. The 26-year-old Worley made his big league debut in 2010 with the Philadelphia Phillies. Last season, he went 1-5 with a 7.10 ERA in 10 starts with the Twins.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game

M. Cabrera
AB 2
R 2
H 1
HR 0

S. Marte
AB 6
R 2
H 5
HR 1

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Toronto Blue Jays
Matt Tuiasosopo, RF4111020 .146
   Kevin Nolan, SS1000002 .000
Melky Cabrera, LF2210100 .431
   Ricardo Nanita, LF2001000 .167
Edwin Encarnacion, DH1010200 .309
   a-Sean Ochinko, PH-DH2011000 .500
Erik Kratz, C2000101 .400
   Josh Thole, C2000001 .240
Dan Johnson, 1B3011002 .357
Brett Carroll, CF3020101 .750
Maicer Izturis, 2B-3B3010002 .265
   Jonathan Berti, 2B1000001 .000
Ryan Goins, SS2000103 .164
   Munenori Kawasaki, 2B-3B1110000 .263
Jonathan Diaz, 3B-SS-RF4100013 .095
J.A. Happ, P0000000 .000
   Esmil Rogers, P0000000 .000
   John Stilson, P0000000 .000
   Tyler Ybarra, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Encarnacion in the 7th
HR - Matt Tuiasosopo (1, Rodriguez)
SF - Dan Johnson (2)
RBI - Matt Tuiasosopo (7), Ricardo Nanita (2), Sean Ochinko (1), Dan Johnson (11)
2-OUT RBI - Sean Ochinko (1)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Matt Tuiasosopo 1
E - Maicer Izturis (3, Misplayed grounder)
Toronto Blue Jays
J.A. Happ (L,0-2) 31277031 20.57
Esmil Rogers 2.29109242 9.37
John Stilson 1544020 3.86
Tyler Ybarra 1.1311120 3.86
WP - Esmil Rogers 4 (4)
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 2-3, Esmil Rogers 4-1, Tyler Ybarra 2-0
Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 20, Esmil Rogers 20, John Stilson 8, Tyler Ybarra 8
Pittsburgh Pirates
Starling Marte, LF-CF6254012 .356
   Michael Fransoso, PR-2B11110001.000
Russell Martin, C5120012 .333
   a-Nevin Ashley, PH-C2000024 .000
Andrew McCutchen, CF5222002 .513
   Adalberto Santos, PR-LF1210000 .500
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3100222 .277
   Walker Gourley, PR-3B10130001.000
Gaby Sanchez, 1B5231023 .360
   Travis Ishikawa, 1B1000011 .320
Jose Tabata, RF4244000 .205
   Mark Melancon, P1000012 .000
   Justin Wilson, P0000000 .000
   b-Josh Bell, PH-RF1000000 .000
Neil Walker, 2B4221002 .250
   Josh Harrison, 2B-CF2000000 .303
Jordy Mercer, SS4122001 .229
   Clint Barmes, SS1110100 .208
   Chris Diaz, PR-SS0100000 .000
Wandy Rodriguez, P3222012 .667
   Andy Oliver, P0000000 .000
   Travis Snider, RF3230000 .366
   Vin Mazzaro, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Martin in the 7th
b-grounded out for Wilson in the 8th
2B - Walker Gourley (1, Ybarra), Gaby Sanchez (4, Happ), Jose Tabata (2, Rogers), Neil Walker 2 (2, Happ), Jordy Mercer (3, Rogers)
HR - Starling Marte (2, Rogers), Jose Tabata (1, Rogers), Wandy Rodriguez (1, Happ)
RBI - Starling Marte 4 (7), Michael Fransoso (1), Andrew McCutchen 2 (9), Walker Gourley 3 (3), Gaby Sanchez (5), Jose Tabata 4 (5), Neil Walker (4), Jordy Mercer 2 (6), Wandy Rodriguez 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Starling Marte 3 (4), Michael Fransoso (1), Andrew McCutchen (5), Walker Gourley 3 (3), Gaby Sanchez (2), Jose Tabata (1), Jordy Mercer (1)
CS - Starling Marte (2, 2nd base by Happ/Kratz)
Team LOB - 10
Outfield Assists - Andrew McCutchen 1
DP - A. McCutchen-Walker, A. McCutchen-Walker-Walker-Mercer-G. Sanchez, A. McCutchen-Walker-Walker-Mercer-G. Sanchez-Alvarez-Walker-G. Sanchez
E - Michael Fransoso (1, Throwing), Vin Mazzaro (1, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Wandy Rodriguez (W,1-0) 4.2633431 3.09
Andy Oliver (H,1) 0.1000000 3.86
Mark Melancon (H,2) 2100100 1.80
Justin Wilson (H,3) 1000100 6.75
Vin Mazzaro 1220000 4.82
WP - Andy Oliver (1)
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 5-4, Andy Oliver 1-0, Mark Melancon 3-2, Justin Wilson 2-1, Vin Mazzaro 3-1
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 22, Andy Oliver 1, Mark Melancon 7, Justin Wilson 4, Vin Mazzaro 6
Game Information
Attendance - 6960
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - A.J. Johnson, First Base - Will Little, Second Base - Jon Byrne, Third Base - Sean Barber