MLB roundup: Ninth-inning homers lift Blue Jays

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[March 27, 2017]  The Sports Xchange

Closer Francisco Rodriguez gave up bases-empty homers to Alex Monsalve and Christian Lopes in the ninth inning, and Toronto Blue Jays posted a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday in Lakeland, Fla. Toronto's Ryan McBroom hit his third homer of the spring in the seventh inning.

Nick Castellanos had his fourth homer and eighth double for the Tigers, and Jordan Zimmermann gave up two hits and one earned run in 5 1/3 innings in the most efficient of his five spring starts.

Red Sox 7, Twins 2

Chris Sale gave up six hits and struck out six in five scoreless innings, and Christian Vazquez, Andrew Benintendi and Steve Selsky homered for Boston at Fort Myers, Fla. Benintendi's homer was his third. Kyle Gibson gave up four hits and struck out four in six scoreless innings for the Twins, dropping his ERA to 1.59 in seven spring starts. Eddie Rosario, just back from the World Baseball Classic, had three hits.

Astros 5, Nationals 1

Jake Marisnick and Marwin Gonzalez homered, Jose Altuve stole two bases, and Joe Musgrove improved to 3-0 while dropping his ERA to 2.45 in six spring starts as Houston topped Washington in West Palm Beach, Fla. Bryce Harper drove in his 11th run with a sacrifice fly for the Nationals, and Gio Gonzalez gave up six hits and five runs in five innings.

Cardinals 3, Marlins 0

Mike Leake gave up seven hits, including six singles, and struck out two in six scoreless innings, and Yadier Molina and Dexter Fowler had two hits apiece, including bases-empty homers, as St. Louis topped Florida in Jupiter, Fla. Ichiro Suzuki had two of the Marlins' eight hits.

Phillies 6, Pirates 3

Maikel Franco hit his fifth homer of the spring and Andrew Knapp had his second in Philadelphia's five-run first inning off Pittsburgh's Josh Lindblom in Clearwater, Fla. Phillies starter Clay Buchholz gave up five hits, four walks and three earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. Pirates outfielder Jose Osuna continued his spring surge with a two-run double in the third inning. He is hitting .417 with 16 RBIs.

Yankees 7, Rays 4

Aaron Hicks hit his third homer of the spring and Ruben Tejada hit his first for New York in a win over Tampa Bay at Tampa, Fla. Bryan Mitchell, a candidate for one of two open spots in the Yankees' rotation, gave up six hits and three runs in three innings. Brad Miller had two singles and two RBIs for the Rays, and Mallex Smith had his fourth stolen base of the spring.

Orioles 2, Blue Jays 1

Third baseman Chris Johnson had two hits and an RBI, and Jayson Aquino gave up one run and struck out four in four innings during his first Grapefruit League start as Baltimore topped Toronto in Dunedin, Fla. Aquino previously made five spring relief appearances. Blue Jays lefty Francisco Liriano gave up two hits and one run and struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings.

Mets 8, Braves 2

Jose Reyes had three hits, including a triple, and Matt Harvey gave up two runs in six innings in his most effective start as New York beat Atlanta in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Yoenis Cespedes had a single and is hitting .395. Tyler Flowers and Emilio Bonifacio had two hits apiece for the Braves. Atlanta's Matt Wisler gave up eight hits and two runs in five innings during his second spring start.

Indians 6, Diamondbacks 5

Michael Brantley hit his first homer of the spring, and Chris Colabello hit his third in a five-run first inning off Robbie Ray, who gave up all six runs. Colabello had three hits and Yan Gomes added two.

Arizona's David Peralta had two hits and his second homer, and Yasmany Tomas doubled in his first major league game since March 5, returning from an oblique injury. Trevor Bauer gave up three runs and seven hits while striking out eight in five innings.

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Rangers 3, Dodgers 2

Cole Hamels gave up one run in five innings and Mike Napoli hit his second homer of the spring as Texas beat Los Angeles in Surprise, Ariz. Hamels gave up two hits and struck out two. Dodgers left-hander Scott Kazmir allowed three runs on three hits and five walks in three innings during his third spring start after missing time because of a hip injury. Kazmir appears to have fallen out of the running for a spot in the rotation.

White Sox 4, Giants 3

Melky Cabrera had two hits and James Shields gave up three runs in five innings for the White Sox, who scored two runs in the last of the ninth to walk off the Giants in Glendale, Ariz. Eduardo Nunez had a hit and two RBIs, and Ty Blach, a contender for the final rotation spot, gave up two runs in six innings.

A's 11, Brewers 1

Catcher Bruce Maxwell hit two homers and Jharel Cotton struck out seven and gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings as Oakland beat Milwaukee in Phoenix. Frankie Montas continued a strong spring with two scoreless innings in relief. Ryan Braun homered off Cotton for the Brewers' only run. Matt Garza gave up five runs and five hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Cubs (ss) 22, Reds (ss) 4

Albert Almora hit two homers and drove in five runs, and Anthony Rizzo led off the last of the first inning with his third homer of the spring in a split-squad game in Las Vegas. Rookie Bijan Rademacher had three hits, including a grand slam, after replacing Kyle Schwarber as a pinch runner in the first inning. Schwarber played the previous two games and was scheduled to have only one plate appearance.

Mariners 7, Reds (ss) 6

Rookie Tyler Motter hit his third homer of the spring and Mitch Hainger had his 10th double as Seattle beat Cincinnati in a split-squad game in Goodyear, Ariz. Mariners starter Drew Smyly gave up five runs and six hits in four innings. Jose Peraza led off the last of the first inning with his first spring homer, and Desmond Jennings and Reds right-hander Rookie Davis also homered off Smyly.

Padres (ss) 9, Cubs (ss) 4

Jabari Blash had three hits, including his sixth homer of the spring, and drove in four runs as San Diego topped Chicago in a split-squad game at Mesa, Ariz. Trevor Cahill gave up two hits and two unearned runs while striking out eight in five innings to earn the win. Javier Baez had a double and two RBIs for the Cubs.

Royals 8, Angels 7

Paulo Orlando, in contention for a starting spot in right field, hit his third homer and Brandon Moss hit his second off Los Angeles starter J.C. Ramirez as Kansas City won at Tempe, Ariz. Mike Trout had two hits and Albert Pujols drove in two runs for the Angels. Jason Hammel, named the Royals' No. 3 starter, gave up eight hits and seven runs in six innings.

Rockies 4, Padres (ss) 1

Tyler Chatwood gave up one run and struck out seven in six innings, and Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds homered for Colorado in a win over San Diego at Peoria, Ariz. Wil Myers had two of the Padres' seven hits. Jarred Cosart got only two outs, giving up three hits -- including Arenado's two-run homer -- and two walks before being pulled in the first inning.

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