Blue Jays Cook Red Sox, 7-3


Blue Jays Cook Red Sox, 7-3

BOSTON Aaron Cook entered his sixth start of the season having given up just two home runs in 29 23 innings this season. He gave up that many in a span of just three batters Saturday, as the Sox lost to the Blue Jays, 7-3, for the second time in as many games.

In the second inning, the Sox led by three behind Jarrod Saltalamacchias three-run home run. The home run broke an 0-for-14 slide by the Sox catcher who was making his first start since Tuesday.

The Jays got a run back in the third when Kelly Johnson led off with a double and Yunel Escobar reached on shortstop Pedro Ciriacos error. A single by Travis Snider loaded the bases with no outs. After Anthony Gose struck out, Brett Lawries sacrifice fly scored Johnson.

But with two outs in the sixth inning, Toronto tied the score on Edwin Encarnacions two-run home run. The Jays pulled ahead in the seventh when J.P. Arencibia led off the inning with his 14th home run of the season.

The Jays added two more runs in the seventh. With one out Escobar reached on third baseman Will Middlebrooks fielding error, ending Cooks outing. Left-hander Andrew Miller entered, striking out Snider and walking Gose before giving way to right-hander Matt Albers. Brett Lawries single to left scored Escobar and Gose, giving Toronto a 6-3 lead.

Toronto added a run in the ninth off Junichi Tazawa when Rajai Davis led off with a double off the left field wall, took third on Lawries sacrifice bunt, and scored on Colby Rasmus fielders choice.

Cook went 6 13 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk, with two strikeouts and two home runs. He took the loss, falling to 2-3 with a 3.50 ERA.

Villanueva went 6 13 innings, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts and a home run. He earned the win, improving to 5-0 with a 2.86 ERA.

Brandon Lyon, acquired in a trade with Houston on Friday, made his first appearance for the Blue Jays. He threw a perfect ninth inning.

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.


Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17. 

With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games. 

The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings. 

The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.