Laffey struggles, but Lind's bat big for Blue Jays
First baseman leads offense; Nanita's hit wins it in the 10th inning
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Toronto's Aaron Laffey and Boston's Daniel Bard were each roughed up for five runs a piece, and the Blue Jays came through in the 10th inning on Ricardo Nanita's single with the bases loaded for a 6-5 walk-off win on Sunday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Laffey, who is competing for a spot in Toronto's starting rotation, had trouble from the outset. He surrendered a leadoff double to Mike Aviles, which was followed by an RBI triple off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury in the two-run first.
Boston added another run in the second on an RBI double by Aviles. Laffey pitched two scoreless innings before there was more trouble in the fifth. With two on and one out, Darnell McDonald hit a scorching line drive into the gap in left-center field that just went under the outstretched glove of Eric Thames for a triple to score two more runs.
Laffey escaped the inning, but he was charged with five runs during his fourth outing of the Grapefruit League season. He threw 50 of his 75 pitches for strikes and didn't walk a batter, but he also didn't fool the Red Sox hitters as they broke out for nine hits.
"I definitely wasn't as crisp today," Laffey said. "It just seemed like every time I missed a spot today, it was getting hammered, I was flying around and watching it hit off the wall.
"What I can take from it is that I did throw a lot of strikes. They did get me early in the count on some first-pitch swings. I got to give credit to the hitters as well. I'm filling up the strike zone, and they're putting good swings on balls and just didn't execute pitches as well today as I did my previous outings."
Toronto got on the scoreboard in the second inning on a solo home run by first baseman Adam Lind. It was Lind's second home run in as many games, and he also recorded a run in the fourth inning after getting on base with a double.
Bard pitched his way into more trouble in the sixth. Jose Bautista led off that inning and was nearly hit in the head by a pitch from Bard. Bautista attempted to duck out of the way and appeared to block the pitch with his hand. He was taken out of the game for a pinch-runner, but he did not appear to be injured.
The inning continued with an Edwin Encarnacion RBI double, and Travis Snider also drove in a run. That was the end for Bard, who finished his six innings having surrendered five runs on six hits while striking out five and walking three.
Up next: Kyle Drabek will make a crucial start on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. ET, when the Blue Jays visit the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in a game available live on MLB.TV. Drabek is competing for the final spot in Toronto's rotation and will need a strong outing to make his case. He will be followed on the mound by Sergio Santos, Francisco Cordero and Casey Janssen.