Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Mike Wright works against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game, Friday, March 6, 2015 in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)
The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette
March 06, 2015

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) R.A. Dickey tossed hitless ball for two scoreless innings in his first start of the spring and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 Friday.

Dickey struck out three and walked one on 16 pitches. He was 14-13 with a 3.71 ERA in a career-high 34 starts last season.

The 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner said he's trying to lessen his workload during the spring to avoid fatigue going into April, where he is a combined 4-7 with a 4.80 ERA since coming to Toronto from the Mets two years ago.

''It's something that I'm going to do in an effort to peak at the right time at the end of spring as we're going into the (opening) series, so we'll see how it goes,'' Dickey said. ''It would be folly for me not to try to change something up. . I need to try and make an improvement and, hopefully, I can do that.''

Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista was a late scratch from the lineup as a precaution because of tightness in his right hamstring. The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 40 minutes because of rain.

''He'll be fine,'' manager John Gibbons said.

Chris Colabello hit a two-run homer for Toronto off starter Mike Wright.

Alejandro De Aza homered for Baltimore in the fourth.


Orioles: Wright gave up four hits, two earned runs and struck out two in two innings of work. The 25-year-old righty is expected to start the season at Triple-A Norfolk.

Blue Jays: New catcher Russell Martin mishandled six of Dickey's pitches, but said that was due in part to the good movement of right-hander's knuckleball.

''I don't think I'm ever going to be perfect,'' Martin said. ''When there's guys on base, that when it matters. When there's two strikes on hitters, that's when you've really got to bear down. . I felt like I did a pretty good job.''


Blue Jays: Reliever Brett Cecil was scheduled for an inning of work, but was given the day off because of soreness in his left throwing shoulder. He could return on Monday in a split-squad game against either the Astros or Tigers.

Outfielder Michael Saunders, sidelined until mid-April with a torn left meniscus, played catch from 90 feet for the second consecutive day and is expected to begin hitting off a tee soon.


Left-hander Johan Santana has started is throwing program with the Blue Jays, but Gibbons indicated there's no timetable for when the two-time AL Cy Young Award winner will begin throwing off a mound.

''When he says he's good and ready, he'll get up on the mound,'' Gibbons said. ''We're just kind of going slowly. He's really calling the shots with that.''

Santana, who turns 36 next week, is attempting to make a comeback from two major shoulder operations and a severed Achilles tendon he sustained with the Orioles during extended spring training last summer.

He has not thrown a pitch in the majors since 2012 and is in camp on a minor league deal.


Orioles: Bud Norris makes his spring debut Saturday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. The hard-throwing righty is coming off arguably the best season of his big-league career after he posted a career-best 15 wins and 3.65 ERA in 28 starts.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Mark Buehrle takes the mound for the first time this spring on Saturday against the Phillies. The five-time All-Star was 13-10 with a 3.39 ERA last season and threw more than 200 innings for the 14th consecutive year.

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