Rasmus drives in 2 runs, Blue Jays beat Pirates

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 28, 2014 at 4:26 pm •  Published: February 28, 2014
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DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Colby Rasmus drove in two runs, Dioner Navarro hit an RBI double and the Toronto Blue Jays topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Friday.

Pedro Alvarez doubled twice and scored both runs for Pittsburgh.

Rasmus hit an RBI single in the first inning off Gerrit Cole. Navarro's double scored Rasmus.

Cole struck out two and gave up three hits in two innings.

After spending last season with the Chicago Cubs, Navarro signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Blue Jays in the offseason.

Navarro, who batted .300 with 13 home runs for the Cubs, said he has been taking extra swings to improve at the plate. His main focus, however, is getting to know the pitching staff.

"Every time I get the opportunity, I jump in the cage. But right now it's all about the pitchers," Navarro said. "Especially with me coming to a new team (and) seeing a lot of new faces. It's all about them. I will get my swings in. I will do my work."

Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle allowed one earned run in two innings. He gave up two hits, one walk and struck out one.

Blue Jays outfield prospect Ricardo Nanita hit an RBI triple in the eighth.

Matt Hague hit an RBI single and Gaby Sanchez doubled for the Pirates.

Toronto star Jose Bautista, who homered and doubled twice in the first two exhibition games, was given the day off.

STARTING TIME

Blue Jays: Buehrle threw 43 pitches. He said his command was good overall, but he felt like he had trouble keeping his sinker in the strike zone.

"I wasn't happy with how sharp it was today," he said. "I wasn't throwing too many sinkers for strikes. But it's the first outing. Things are going to turn and get better as we go along."

Manager John Gibbons disagreed and said the left-hander looked better than he did during camp last season.

"I thought Buehrle for his first start was really good," Gibbons said. "I told him I thought he was a little sharper in this camp than he was (at the same point) last year. It showed today, that's a good sign."

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