CLEARWATER, Fla. — First baseman Andy Burns hit a controversial tie-breaking RBI double in the ninth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays held on for an 8-7 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Grapefruit League action.
Burns went 2-for-2 and drove in the one run after replacing Justin Smoak.
Slow-motion replays on TV showed that Burns’s ball may have actually gone over the left-centre wall and bounced back into play, rather than just ricochet off the fence.
Third baseman Eric Sogard scored from second on the play after the Blue Jays (8-6) had coughed up a 7-2 lead they had established thanks to a five-run third inning.
Starter Matt Shoemaker pitched three innings for Toronto, giving up two hits and three earned runs with four strikeouts.
Dylan Cozens and Mitch Walding both hit solo homers in the sixth inning as Philadelphia (8-6) cut into Toronto’s early lead.
Bryce Harper drew a pair of five-pitch walks in his first spring training appearance since signing a record contract with Philadelphia.
The six-time All-Star outfielder signed a $330 million, 13-year contract last week, the largest deal in baseball history.
Batting third as the designated hitter against the Blue Jays, Harper took four straight pitches after a mighty swing and miss in the first inning. Rhys Hoskins followed with a mammoth two-run homer off Shoemaker.