2/26/2014 5:10 P.M. ET
Bautista's blast sets tone as Toronto takes opener
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jose Bautista homered Wednesday afternoon as the Phillies and Blue Jays opened their Grapefruit League schedule at Bright House Field.
It helped Toronto to a 4-3 victory. The game was called in the middle of the seventh inning because of rain.
Bautista wasted no time, crushing a 2-0 pitch in the first inning against Phillies right-hander Roberto Hernandez literally over the left-field fence and out of the ballpark. Ryan Howard and Marlon Byrd each singled to score a run against Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ to hand the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first.
"If you keep the ball up like today, that's what happens," Hernandez said on a windy day at the Phillies' home park. "Everything was up."
Happ allowed two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out three in one inning. Hernandez allowed two runs on four hits in two innings.
"I guess the positives are, you go out there trying to get some pitches, and I got plenty of those in during the first," Happ said. "But I kept the ball on the ground for the most part. Continue to tweak command and continue to get ahead of guys, I think good things will happen. It was OK."
The Blue Jays scored two runs in the third inning against Phillies reliever Phillippe Aumont to take the lead. Blue Jays right-hander Todd Redmond pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win. Phils left-hander Antonio Bastardo, who is trying to bounce back following a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, pitched a scoreless inning.
Up next: The Phillies take the short trip to Dunedin, Fla., to play the Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, which will be broadcast live on MLB.TV. Left-hander Cliff Lee will make his Grapefruit League debut. Right-hander Ethan Martin, who is a candidate for Philadelphia's No. 5 starter job, also will see some work.
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will make his spring debut when the Blue Jays host Philadelphia at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Toronto's Opening Day starter is expected to throw two innings, and he will be followed on the mound by Esmil Rogers, Dustin McGowan, Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, Jeremy Jeffress, Rob Rasmussen and Marcus Walden.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.