Donaldson, Buehrle lead Blue Jays past Phillies
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) Josh Donaldson homered and Mark Buehrle threw two scoreless innings in his spring debut as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 Saturday.
Buehrle worked around two straight singles by the Phillies to open the game. Blue Jays pitchers then combined to retire 18 consecutive hitters until Darin Ruf's single in the seventh.
''I hit my spots where I wanted to,'' Buehrle said. ''If you were to tell me I'd do the same thing every time out there this spring, I'd take it.''
Manager John Gibbons liked what he saw.
''He does what he does,'' Gibbons said. ''He was sharp. He had a good spring last year, too.''
Donaldson, acquired from Oakland in an offseason trade, hit his first homer of the exhibition season. He connected off David Buchanan.
Dayan Viciedo, signed by the Blue Jays on March 1, hit a double. He mde his first start in left field for his new team after being released by the White Sox in February.
''I was slightly surprised because I thought I had an agreement in place to stay there, but I understand it's a business,'' Viciedo said through a translator. ''You have good days, you have bad days. I took it in stride. I'm not upset. It kind of surprised me at first but everything had worked out and is OK.''
Viciedo is in contention for one of Toronto's outfield spots after signing with the team on March 1. He said the big Latin influence on the Blue Jays' roster and being in position to win now with the organization were contributing factors to joining the Blue Jays.
The Phillies scored twice in the ninth. Carlos Ruiz had an RBI groundout and Brian Bogusevic singled home a run with two outs.
''We had a tough time swinging the bats, so that's a work in progress,'' manager Ryne Sandberg said. ''It's not happening as a group right now. It's something to work on and something we have to get better at.''
Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon made his first appearance of the spring. He struck out two and allowed a hit in his one inning. Sandberg said Papelbon looked strong after adding weight during the offseason. His fastball hovered around 93 mph.
Papelbon, who said his body felt great, said he believes the Phillies will perform better than expected this year.
''I feel like we're going to contend,'' Papelbon said. ''There's no doubt about that. I don't think anyone in this clubhouse, especially the veterans, doesn't feel like we're not going to contend.''
Blue Jays: Kevin Slowey starts against the Pirates on Sunday.
Phillies: LHP Joely Rodriguez is expected to start against the Rays.
The Phillies optioned outfielder Kelly Dugan to minor league camp prior to the game. Dugan has been sidelined during camp with a stress reaction in his right foot, and he continues to wear a walking boot.