Morrow wins pitchers' duel vs. Phillies' Lee
Bautista doubles twice, steals third base in victory
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jose Bautista recorded a pair of doubles while Brandon Morrow got the best of Cliff Lee in a pitchers' duel that resulted in Toronto's 2-0 victory over the Phillies on Thursday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Bautista was one of the few Blue Jays hitters who experienced any degree of success against Lee. He recorded a one-out double in the first that just went off the outstretched glove of Hunter Pence in right field before he crashed into the wall.
Toronto's slugger came back in his second at-bat with yet another double. This time he drove a pitch from Lee off the wall in left field. The ball was hit so hard he almost didn't make it to second base in time, but the Dominican native was able to avoid the tag to spark a rally. Bautista then stole third and would later come around to score on a single by first baseman Adam Lind.
Lee looked sharp all afternoon and Lind's RBI was the lone run he would surrender. He finished his six innings of work having surrendered five hits and didn't issue a walk while striking out seven.
Morrow looked equally as dominant on the mound for the Blue Jays. His lone struggle came in the second inning when he momentarily lost command and walked back-to-back Phillies with one out. Morrow didn't allow a hit until Carlos Ruiz hit an opposite field single with one out in the fifth.
Toronto's No. 2 starter left the game after that inning having not allowed a run while striking out one. He has now surrendered just one earned run in 13 1/3 innings this spring and continues to show improved command of his breaking pitches.
"That's something that I set out to do was to improve my pitches per inning and go deeper in games," said Morrow, who needed just 59 pitches to get through his five innings of work. "It's definitely encouraging, I had to go down to the bullpen to throw 15 more to get my pitch count up.
"I'm thinking through at-bats and watching the way [hitters are] reacting to balls and calling a little bit more of my own game, shaking to pitches. ... All positives."
The Blue Jays added an insurance run in the eighth when Kelly Johnson hit an RBI double to right field that scored Travis Snider, who had reached on a fielding error by center fielder Scott Podsednik.
Up next for the Blue Jays: The Blue Jays will travel to Port Charlotte, Fla., on Friday to take on the Rays in a rare Spring Training night game, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET. Left-hander Brett Cecil will get the start and is expected to go five innings and will be followed by pitching prospect Drew Hutchison. Toronto is expected to send a lot of its regulars to the game before giving them the day off on Saturday.