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Franco stays hot for Phillies

Maikel Franco caps a nine-run fourth inning with a home run in a victory over the Pirates.

Maikel Franco caps a nine-run fourth inning with a home run in a victory over the Pirates.

CLEARWATER — Maikel Franco hit his seventh homer of the spring to cap a nine-run fourth inning as the Phillies beat the Pirates 15-12 Friday.

Franco's three-run shot was one of four homers for the Phillies. Ryan Howard hit a grand slam and Peter Bourjos and Cameron Rupp also homered during a six-run fifth.

Howard, who drove in five runs, and Rupp each had three hits.

Former Ray Matt Joyce and Pedro Florimon homered early for the Pirates, staking them to a 5-0 lead going into the fourth.

Pittsburgh prospect Jose Osuna hit a three-run homer in the ninth.

Jays: Power display

DUNEDIN — Jose Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki each hit towering home runs to lead the Blue Jays past the Astros 7-2.

Making his first exhibition start in rightfield, Bautista connected off Doug Fister in the third for a three-run shot that landed in a patch of trees far beyond the leftfield fence. Fister gave up a single to A.J. Jimenez and walked AL MVP Josh Donaldson to set up Bautista's second drive of the spring with one out.

Tulowitzki went deep against reliever Jandel Gustave in the fifth, driving a solo shot past the scoreboard in left-center field.

Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez, vying for a spot in the starting rotation, gave up one run in 42/3 innings on a sacrifice fly by prospect Tyler White.

Sanchez struck out five and walked two.

"I said this since I got to spring training, I'm going to go out there and execute pitches, worry about what I need to do to get better," he said. "At the end of the day, I feel like if I continue to do those things, everything is going to shake out the way it should and that gives them the best read on what they feel is the right decision."

NOTABLE: LHP Randy Choate quickly retired Luis Valbuena on a grounder to close out the sixth in his Toronto debut. He is competing for a spot in the bullpen. … Toronto reassigned OF Dalton Pompey, LHPs Scott Diamond and Wade LeBlanc and INF Matt Dominguez to minor league camp before the game. Pompey, 23, won the starting job in centerfield out of spring training last year, but struggled with a .193 average in 91 plate appearances before being demoted.

Yanks: Sabathia off

TAMPA — CC Sabathia struggled for the second straight start, and the former ace's spot in the Yankees' rotation is in doubt after an 11-2 loss to the Orioles.

Manny Machado had an RBI double and Mark Trumbo hit a three-run homer in the first off the 35-year-old left-hander, who allowed seven runs — four earned — and six hits in 3 2-3 innings. His ERA rose to 7.36.

Baltimore scored three unearned runs in the fourth, including Machado's two-out, two-run single that ended Sabathia's night after 63 pitches. Trumbo got his fourth RBI with a run-scoring single off Andrew Miller.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game that "there's six pegs and only five holes" for the rotation. Ivan Nova is in the mix to start if Sabathia is dropped.

Franco stays hot for Phillies 03/18/16 [Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2016 9:57pm]
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