Blue Jays lose to Baltimore in first loss in spring

It’s official. Marcus Stroman has been tapped as the Opening Day starter for the Toronto Blue Jays when they host the Detroit Tigers on March 28.

Considering the offseason Stroman had. When he was reportedly on the move to the Reds, then to the Padres and complained that “there is really no veteran presence anymore” in the Blue Jays locker room at the start of the spring. It is a strong sign from new manager Charlie Montoyo that they are moving past it all.

“It’s an honor,” Stroman told reporters on Wednesday. “I always strive for. It’s something I always pride myself on and I’m just excited. Excited to feel that electricity, that energy of Toronto, of Canada, when I get out there on the mound.

“I’ve pitched in some pretty big moments before. I’m not shy of the moment. I think I thrive off energy and emotion so I’m excited. I can’t wait to be out there.”

Stroman will now look to turn the page from a poor 2018 where he went 4-9 with a 5.54 ERA in only 19 starts due to shoulder and blister injuries. The 27-year-old will instead aim to build off his 2017 numbers when he was 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 33 starts and won a Gold Glove. In four starts this spring he has 2.19 ERA with 13 strikeouts.

Meanwhile, the Blue jays were beaten on Wednesday.

Orioles 6, Blue Jays 4

Bo Bichette is putting down a marker in his spring training showcase.

Toronto’s No. 2 prospect recorded two more hits, stole a base and scored a run in the Blue Jays’ loss at Ed Smith Stadium. Bichette has eight hits in his last 17 at-bats with a .387/.424/.806 line overall this spring.

The No. 11 overall prospect went hitless in his first two plate appearances of the day, then singled up the middle with one out in the fifth inning. Bichette moved into scoring position by swiping second base. The attempt drew an overthrow from Orioles catcher Jesus Sucre, and he advanced to third before Billy McKinney singled him home.

In the seventh, the 21-year-old went the other way and sent a ball, which deflected off Baltimore second baseman Jack Reinheimer’s glove, through the right side for his second hit. He grounded out to third in the ninth.

Bichette has particularly stood out when given the opportunity to start. On the initial lineup card for the past three games, the 2016 second-round pick went 8-for-15 with four extra-base hits and four RBIs.

Toronto’s No. 3 prospect Danny Jansen singled while No. 10 Cavan Biggio walked and scored once. Ninth-ranked Sean Reid-Foley surrendered two earned runs on two hits and one walk over four innings out of the bullpen.

Orioles No. 25 prospect Drew Jackson contributed an RBI single and 21st-ranked Cody Carroll picked up the save with a scoreless ninth.

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