Laffey solid early before running into trouble

Laffey solid early before running into trouble

Laffey solid early before running into trouble
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Twins starter Liam Hendriks was nearly perfect in five innings of work, while Chris Parmelee homered in Minnesota's 4-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Hendriks retired the first eight batters he faced until issuing a walk to designated hitter Jeff Mathis in the third. Minnesota's right-hander then eventually saw his no-hitter come to an end in the fourth when Jose Bautista singled up the middle.

That was the only damage Toronto could muster all afternoon against Hendriks, who didn't allow a run while striking out two. Hendriks has now allowed just four earned runs in 20 innings this spring.

Blue Jays starter Aaron Laffey cruised through four innings but pitched his way into trouble in the fifth. Right fielder Aaron Hicks got things started with a double to left field which was later followed by an RBI triple off the bat of center fielder Ben Revere. Jamey Carroll then capped the two-run inning with a single to left to score Revere and give the Twins a 2-0 lead.

Parmelee opened the sixth with a shot well over the wall in right field for his fourth homer of the Grapefruit League season. Brian Dinkelman and J.R. Towles immediately followed with a pair of hits to chase Laffey from the game.

Laffey, who is competing for the final spot in Toronto's rotation, was charged with four runs on eight hits in five-plus innings. He struck out three and issued his first walk of the spring, while throwing 50 of his 86 pitches for strikes.

"[I'm] just disappointed to throw the ball so well all spring, and then these last two outings, just have two rough ones," said Laffey, who allowed nine earned runs in his final 10 innings to finish the spring with a 5.40 ERA.

"I'm disappointed in the last two, but overall in the spring, I'm proud of the way I threw the ball. With the exception of a couple innings, really I had a great spring. So regardless of whether I go with the team or go to [Triple-A Las] Vegas or wherever it may be, I still need to get back into it and stay on the path I was on and continue to get stronger."

Up next: No. 1 starter Ricky Romero will make his final start of the spring when the Blue Jays travel to Clearwater, Fla., on Saturday to take on the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. Romero, who hasn't allowed a run in three official Grapefruit League games, is scheduled to throw five innings and will be followed on the mound by Carlos Villanueva and Jason Frasor.

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.