PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — J.A. Happ looked sharp in his second outing and Ryan Goins had two hits and drove in a pair of runs to lead the Toronto Blue Jays over the Tampa Rays 5-1 Wednesday.
All-Star Chris Archer had a rough start for the Rays, allowing two first-inning runs on wild pitches. Goins singled off the Tampa Bay ace in the first and had a two-run single off Ryan Webb in the fourth to boost his batting average to .357 with six RBIs this spring.
Happ allowed one run and four hits in 2 2-3 innings.
Archer retired his first batter before yielding two singles and a walk that loaded the bases. Goins scored on the first wild pitch of the inning, and Toronto added another run when another pitch got away from Archer after he walked Junior Lake to re-load the bases.
"I think the biggest thing was whenever I got a few guys on base, I was trying to do a little bit too much," said Archer, who threw 32 pitches in the first inning.
"It’s nice to have challenges in spring training present themselves," Archer added, "because that way when you get to the season it’s not unfamiliar."
Curt Casali drove in Tampa Bay’s run with a second-inning single.
Blue Jays: Happ pitched two scoreless innings in his spring training debut against Baltimore. He’s allowed one run and six hits in 4 2-3 innings and has a 1.93 ERA.
"It was one of those days where mistakes were hit for base hits," Happ said. "I also felt like I executed a lot of pitches."
Manager John Gibbons likes what he’s seen.
"I thought he threw the ball well, better than I’ve seen him in the past this early," Gibbons said. "That’s a good sign."
Rays: Archer allowed two runs, three hits and two walks in 2 1-3 innings. He struck out three during the 50-pitch outing.
"It was a good work day," the right-hander, a first-time All-Star in 2015, said.
"My stuff was pretty close to mid-season form," Archer added, "I think my fastball command was just a tick off in that first inning."
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada has been slowed by a sore back but is improving and possibly could make his exhibition debut late next week.
Rays: First baseman Steve Pearce was scratched from the lineup because of right calf tightness. The injury is not considered serious and he’s day-to-day. Right-fielder Steven Souza Jr., limited by a left intercostal strain since the start of spring training, played in a game for the first time, going 0-for-3 with strikeouts in his first two at-bats.
Souza said he didn’t experience any pain or setbacks.
"I just wanted to get in there and test it out in a high-adrenaline environment," the outfielder said. "It’s good to get past it and move on."
The Rays optioned catching prospect Justin O’Connor to Triple-A Durham of the International League. He has been slowed in spring training by a back injury.
Blue Jays: RHP Drew Hutchison starts on the road against the New York Yankees.
Rays: LHP Drew Smyly and RHP Brad Boxberger are among the pitchers who’ll get some work against Pittsburgh.