Halladay shakes off homer, Jays rally

Halladay shakes off homer, Jays rally for win

at Dunedin, Fla.
Thursday, March 22

Blue Jays at the plate: In the fourth inning, designated hitter Frank Thomas led off the inning and crushed a 1-0 fastball from Pirates righty Tony Armas Jr. into the trees behind the left-field fence for his second home run of the spring. Right fielder Alex Rios then singled and scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Royce Clayton.

Pirates at the plate: Shortstop Jack Wilson led off the fourth with a single to left, followed by another single to right by designated hitter Michael Ryan. First baseman Brad Eldred then hit a fastball from Blue Jays righty Roy Halladay the opposite way over the right-field fence to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead. It was Eldred's fifth homer of the spring.

Blue Jays on the mound: Halladay, who entered the game with a 1.00 ERA this spring, allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings. He was cruising along through the first three innings until he allowed three consecutive hits, including the homer by Eldred, in the fourth. He struck out two without allowing a walk. Halladay threw 81 pitches, 53 for strikes.

Pirates on the mound: Armas went five innings and gave up two runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts. The righty threw 75 pitches, 52 strikes. Right-hander Masumi Kuwata, who entered the game with three runs allowed in four innings pitched this spring, made his road debut and tossed a scoreless inning with a strikeout.

Grapefruit League records: Blue Jays 8-11-2; Pirates 8-14-1.

Up next: The Blue Jays visit the Twins on Friday for their second meeting of the 2007 Grapefruit League schedule. Toronto left-hander Gustavo Chacin (0-1, 4.15 ERA) will make his fourth start of Spring Training in the 1:05 p.m. ET game at Bill Hammond Stadium in Lee County. Right-hander A.J. Burnett is scheduled to pitch in a Triple-A game at the Minor League complex in Dunedin.

Pirates right-hander Shawn Chacon, who has a 3.12 spring ERA, is slated to start his fourth spring game when the Pirates host the Yankees at 1:05 p.m. ET on Friday in Bradenton.

Chris Girandola is a correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.