Michael Saunders clobbered a pair of solo home runs on Friday, powering the Blue Jays to a 6-1 victory over the Rays in Tampa Bay.
Saunders tagged left-hander Drew Smyly (for the second time this season) for a solo blast in the third inning to open the scoring in the contest. He then launched another impressive drive off southpaw Dana Eveland in the eighth inning, increasing the Rays advantage to 3-0. Saunders has settled in nicely atop the Blue Jays lineup and is slashing an impressive .324/.377/.606 with four homers and eight RBI on the season.
Aaron Sanchez delivered an outstanding performance in Friday's victory over the Rays, racking up six strikeouts over seven scoreless innings of work.
Sanchez scattered six hits and a pair of walks on the night, never letting the Rays mount a serious threat against him. His transition to the starting rotation has gone incredibly well thus far, as Sanchez has compiled a 2.59 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 29/8 K/BB ratio over 30 1/3 innings, that despite allowing six runs in his last outing. He'll look to replicate this fine effort when he takes on the Rangers at home on Wednesday.
Brad Miller clubbed his second home run of the season as the Rays fell to the Blue Jays on Friday evening.
Miller's solo blast off Drew Storen in the eighth inning merely got the Rays on the board, barely cutting into a 6-0 deficit at the time. He also singled, finishing the night 2-for-3 plus a walk to raise his season slash to .172/.243/.344.
Drew Smyly pitched well in a losing effort against the Blue Jays on Friday, allowing two runs on two hits over six frames.
Smyly punched out eight on the evening while walking one. All of the damage against him came via solo home runs, with Michael Saunders hitting a solo blast in the third inning and Josh Donaldson replicating the feat in the sixth. Even against a strong offense that clubs left-handed pitching, Smyly continued his very strong start to the season. He'll carry an impressive 2.60 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and 41/6 K/BB ratio into Wednesday's matchup against the Dodgers.
Alex Guerrero (knee) is slated to begin playing in extended spring training games next week.
Guerrero suffered a bruised knee in spring training and has been very slow to progress. It appears that he's finally making tangible progress toward a return, though there's still no clear estimate for when he may rejoin the big league club.
Kevin Cash was ejected from Friday's game against the Blue Jays for arguing with the home plate umpire.
It's unclear exactly what he was upset about, as the ejection occurred after Russell Martin was called out on strikes. He'll catch the rest of this game from the locker room.
Josh Hamilton (knee) will begin his minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco on Saturday.
Hamilton is slated to play five innings in the outfield on Saturday as he works himself back into game shape. He isn't expected to be an option for the Rangers until mid-May, assuming he can avoid any further setbacks.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Baseball reports that the Orioles have continued to talk to free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse.
Despite signing Wandy Rodriguez to a minor league deal on Friday, the O's continue to scour the market for potential upgrades to their starting rotation. The Orioles have reportedly made an offer to Lohse, but the two sides haven't been able to reach an agreement on financial terms. The Tigers and Reds have also expressed interest in Lohse.