Three Blue Jays homers not enough against Braves
Right-hander Morrow allows five runs on eight hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays bashed three home runs off Braves lefty Sean Gilmartin, but Edward Salcedo hit two homers in the final two innings, leading Atlanta to a 10-5 victory on Saturday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Gilmartin, the Braves' No. 5 prospect, got off to a shaky start but kept the initial damage to a minimum. Gilmartin served up a one-out homer to Rajai Davis, his first of the spring, then loaded the bases on a Melky Cabrera double, an infield single by Jose Bautista and a walk to J.P. Arencibia. But Gilmartin induced a quick 1-2-3 double play to get out of the inning.
The Braves evened it up in the second inning, when Justin Upton doubled off the left-field wall against Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow and later scored on a throwing error by Emilio Bonifacio, making his first start of the spring in center field.
Gilmartin, who's slated to begin the year in Triple-A, allowed three more runs in the third inning. Cabrera crushed a towering home run to left field, then Gilmartin once again loaded the bases with two walks and a single. Maicer Izturis came through with the big hit, a two-run single to left field.
Gilmartin exited after five innings of work, having allowed five runs on 10 hits, three homers and three walks while striking out three.
Meanwhile, Morrow worked perfect first, third and fourth innings but got hit around by the Braves in the fifth. After retiring nine straight, Morrow gave up four straight base hits, including a two-run single by Reed Johnson, and a wild pitch that allowed Atlanta to tie the game at 4. He went on to walk Jason Heyward and give up a run-scoring single to Upton before finally retiring Chris Johnson to end the inning.
"They hit some good pitches," Morrow said. "Guys got their hands in on some inside fastballs, which were well-located. Against [Ramiro] Pena, who kind of started it off, I thought that I probably should have stayed hard. I gave him a pitch to hit, a changeup up the middle. But other than that, they hit some good pitches and kind of singled me to death there."
Morrow allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out two over 5 1/3 innings. In 15 innings this spring, Morrow has given up 13 earned runs on 21 hits and four walks with eight strikeouts.
Up next: Most of Toronto's regulars will get the day off Sunday as the Blue Jays head south to Fort Myers, Fla., to face the Twins at 1:05 p.m. ET at Hammond Stadium on MLB.TV. Right-hander Dave Bush (3-0, 2.45 ERA) is scheduled to make his first start (seventh appearance) of the spring. Meanwhile, lefty Mark Buehrle will start a game and throw six innings at the Blue Jays' Minor League complex in Dunedin.