DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Spring training results aren’t terribly important to Mark Buehrle. After allowing four straight hits to the Baltimore Orioles in his second inning Sunday, the new Toronto Blue Jays left-hander said he wasn’t disappointed. In fact, everything went according to plan.
Buehrle, acquired in a blockbuster trade with Miami, retired his first four hitters before allowing a single to Lew Ford, a two-run homer by Steve Pearce and singles to Danny Valencia and Taylor Teagarden.
After 1 1-3 innings and 35 pitches, Buehrle was yanked. The Orioles went on to beat a split squad of Blue Jays 5-4.
“It seems I never pitch too good in spring training. My numbers aren’t too good. I don’t care if it’s spring training or during the season, I try to get outs. I don’t like to kid around, even though it doesn’t matter,” Buehrle said.
Buehrle was obtained by the Blue Jays, along with Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes, after one season with the Marlins. Now he’s back in the American League, where he spent 12 seasons with the Chicago White Sox.
Two of Buehrle’s outs came on fly balls. One was a strikeout and the other was a grounder, which he prefers.
“When I’m going good, I’m getting a lot of ground balls,” Buehrle said. “If they find holes, that’s part of the game, but fly balls aren’t good. When I’m getting flyouts, that means I’m not down in the zone as much as I’d like. Got some pitches, got some work in, so it’s obviously a good day.”
Reyes played in his first game for his new team, going 1 for 2, and slugger Jose Bautista hit a long two-run homer off Troy Patton in the third inning.
Sergio Santos, whose 2012 season ended in April after right shoulder surgery, pitched the third inning and retired all three batters. He said he felt strong.
Jair Jurrjens started for Baltimore. An All-Star with Atlanta in 2011, Jurrjens allowed a run on two hits in two innings. One of many contenders for the fifth spot in the rotation, Jurrjens was signed to a minor league deal on Feb. 15.
“He was sloppy with his breaking ball, which happens to everybody early on,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He was facing a pretty good lineup. We’ll see where it takes us. He’ll tighten some things up.”
Jurrjens retired the first four Toronto hitters before J.P. Arencibia singled, Colby Rasmus walked and Mark DeRosa hit an RBI single.
“My situation’s a little bit different this time,” Jurrjens said. “When you have a job, you just come in and try to get in shape. Now, when you’re competing for a job, you need to try to get in shape as quick as possible. Losing my timing in spring training is usually something that happens to me all the time. The more and more I get on the mound, the more comfortable I get and I think the more I start feeling where I need to release the ball. I can feel my timing coming back.”
Kevin Gausman, Baltimore’s No. 1 draft pick last year and the fourth selection overall, made his Orioles debut, allowing a run and a hit in 1 2-3 innings.
NOTES: Toronto was managed by bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who spent last season as Baltimore’s third base coach. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was in Tampa for Toronto’s other split-squad game against the New York Yankees. … Baltimore OF Nolan Reimold went 0 for 3 in his first game since April 30. He had neck surgery last June.
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