Big days from Alvarez, Lind propel Blue Jays

Big days from Alvarez, Lind propel Blue Jays

Big days from Alvarez, Lind propel Blue Jays
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Adam Lind homered and drove in four runs while Kelly Johnson added three RBIs of his own en route to Toronto's 9-0 victory over the Braves on Saturday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Atlanta starter Randall Delgado got through his first two innings of work without much difficulty before pitching into trouble in the third. With two on and two out, Lind sent a 3-2 fastball over the wall in right field for his first home run of the spring. The three-run shot gave Toronto an early lead and came after Lind fouled off four consecutive pitches.

"It's good for the team, it's good for me, just to show the staff that I'm trying to have long at-bats," said Lind, who has been working on his patience at the plate this spring. "I think the tale of today was that I took a back leg slider in my last at-bat. That was a big pitch for me because I've swung a lot at that in the past. So taking that and having not seen [Cristhian Martinez's] slider at all and taking it was good."

Toronto's offensive attack continued in a five-run fourth inning that involved sending all nine batters to the plate. With the bases loaded, Johnson had a bases-clearing double to the gap in right-center field. Later in the inning, Lind hit a deep fly ball to right that was lost in the sun by Matt Diaz and dropped on the warning track. That allowed the inning to continue and gave Lind an RBI triple.

The inning was capped by a double off the center-field wall courtesy of Eric Thames. Delgado managed to finish the inning but didn't come back out for the fifth. He surrendered eight runs -- five earned -- on 10 hits and one walk while striking out five.

Right-hander Henderson Alvarez got the start for the Blue Jays and allowed just one hit through five innings. The 21-year-old also didn't walk a batter while recording four strikeouts.

Alvarez needed just 61 pitches to get through his fourth official outing of the spring. He has allowed just two earned runs in 11 innings and appears set to begin the year as Toronto's No. 4 pitcher.

Up next: Left-hander Aaron Laffey will get the start when the Blue Jays host the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Laffey will be followed on the mound by Jason Frasor, Carlos Villanueva and Luis Perez. The game is also expected to mark the return of third baseman Brett Lawrie, who hasn't played since injuring his left groin on March 16 against Tampa Bay.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.