Jonathan Sanchez is in the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation. It didn’t matter what he did against the Blue Jays, Sanchez will be the starter April 7 against L.A. So the rough first inning in which another popup eluded Pirates catcher Michael McKenry, Sanchez and Gaby Sanchez didn’t matter a whole lot.
Apparently, the goal was to get his pitch count up, and that was achieved. The lefty threw 85 pitches–his next start somewhere in Bradenton or a simulated game in Pittsburgh will target 100 pitches.
The rough first inning went as follows.
Jose Reyes struckout on three pitches. Melky Cabrera singled on a pop up to the pitcher, God that’s tough to see consistently in the Gameday. Sanchez then walked Jose Bautista. J.P. Arencibia plated Cabrera with a single. Mark DeRosa hit a sacrifice fly to Garrett Jones to score Bautista.
The damage continued as Adam Lind doubled. Ray Searage came to the mound to talk to Sanchez. The southpaw responded by striking out Rajai Davis to end the inning.
In the second, Maicer Izturis grounded out to secondbaseman Jordy Mercer. Emilio Bonifacio hit a line-drive single to left field. But Sanchez was able to get Jose Reyes to ground into a Mercer to Gaby Sanchez double play.
In the third inning, Cabrera grounded out. And then the left-hander hit Jose Bautista after throwing something like all strikes with the exception of those four balls to Bautista in the first. (Gameday?) Arencibia was then caught looking. DeRosa singled again, but Sanchez got out of the inning by getting Lind to fly out to Felix Pie in centerfield.
In the fourth, after falling behind 2-0 to Davis, Sanchez got a quick strike but on the next pitch Davis ripped a homer for the Blue Jays fourth run of the game. Izturis popped out to McKenry in foul territory. Bonifacio then went down swinging on three pitches. Jose Reyes singled and then stole second base. Sanchez was then able to get Cabrera swinging to end the inning.
In the fifth, Sanchez got Bautista out for the first time in the game–popping out to Mercer at second base. The final batter that Sanchez would face on the day was Arencibia who went down looking.
The final line for the southpaw was 4.2 innings pitched, seven hits, four runs, one walk and six strikeouts.