- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Brandon Morrow gave up four hits over three innings, Jose Bautista drove in a run and a Toronto Blue Jays‘ split squad beat the Canadian junior national team 12-2 Tuesday.

Making his second start and third appearance of spring training following a season-ending forearm injury last May, Morrow allowed two runs - one earned - walked three and struck out two in a 47-pitch outing. He gave up five runs and six hits in three innings against Pittsburgh on March 5.

Morrow said he worked exclusively on his fastball and splitter but was not happy with his efficiency.

“My fastball command was terrible,” Morrow said. “I was getting frustrated with myself out there. I felt good. … I just need to tighten up my fastball command. That’s been my problem the last two times out.”

Despite the early struggles, Morrow expects to improve.

“I’m not worried,” he said. “It’s going to get there eventually. I’ll just keep working at it next time out.”

Bautista went 1 for 2 with a double and a first-inning sacrifice fly off 17-year-old Ben Onyshko.

Colby Rasmus returned to the Blue Jays‘ lineup after missing seven games with a stiff neck. He was 0 for 2 with a walk.


Canada: Onyshko allowed two runs and four hits in three innings with one walk and one strikeout. The left-hander was nervous early but said pitching against the Blue Jays was something he will never forget.

“It was a mixture of excitement and nerves,” Onyshko said. “At first, the ball was up and I was nervous. Eventually, I was able to settle in and it was an experience of a lifetime.”

Onyshko said the most nerve-racking moment came Bautista stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the first. With his heart pounding, Onyshko managed to keep his cool and hold the slugger to a sacrifice fly.

“I tried not to think about it, I tried to execute my pitches same as always, but I’ve got to admit my mind was racing a little bit,” he said. “It was surreal.”


Rasmus said he felt good in his first game back and does not expect to miss any more time.

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