Snell solid, but Pirates fall to Blue Jays

Snell solid, but Pirates fall to Blue Jays

at Dunedin, Fla.
Saturday, March 15

Pirates at the plate: Pittsburgh's cold spell at the plate persisted against Toronto, which sent ace Roy Halladay to the hill. The Pirates managed just four singles off Halladay and didn't have a runner advance beyond first base until the fifth inning. Pittsburgh avoided a shutout in the eighth, when outfield prospect Steve Pearce belted a solo home run off Jays reliever Brian Wolfe.

Blue Jays at the plate: Veteran outfielder Matt Stairs put Toronto on the board in the third inning by sending a pitch to the wall in right-center field for a two-run double. Stairs' two-base hit plated Vernon Wells and Scott Rolen, who singled and doubled, respectively, earlier in the inning. Toronto Minor Leaguer Chip Cannon added a solo homer in a two-run eighth.

Pirates on the mound: Pittsburgh right-hander Ian Snell surrendered two runs -- both coming on Stairs' double in the third. In four innings of work, Snell allowed five hits, struck out four and issued two walks. Snell finished with 75 pitches, including 44 strikes, in his fourth Grapefruit League start.

Blue Jays on the mound: Halladay was sharp in his fourth outing of the spring, spinning five shutout innings against Pittsburgh. The right-hander yielded four hits and added four strikeouts with no walks. Halladay induced nine outs via ground balls and finished with 64 pitches (44 strikes) in the outing.

Grapefruit League records: Pirates 5-12; Blue Jays 6-11.

Up next for the Pirates: For the first time this spring, the Bucs will host the defending World Series champion Red Sox, who head to Bradenton, Fla., for 1:05 p.m. ET tilt at McKechnie Field on Sunday. Tom Gorzelanny is scheduled to pitch four innings in his third start of Spring Training for Pittsburgh.

Up next for the Blue Jays: The Jays make the trek to Fort Myers, Fla., on Sunday for a 1:05 p.m. ET meeting with the Twins at Hammond Stadium. Toronto will send Dustin McGowan to the hill for his third Grapefruit League start. Catcher Rod Barajas, left fielder Reed Johnson, and infielders Marco Scutaro and John McDonald are among those scheduled to make the trip.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.