DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera each homered as the Blue Jays overcame a rough third inning by Mark Buehrle en route to an 10-6 victory over the Astros on Tuesday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Cabrera opened the scoring in the first inning with a line-drive homer over the wall in right field. That marked his first of the spring, while he also added a single and two runs scored on the afternoon.
Bautista's shot came in the fourth when he homered on a 2-0 offering from Jordan Lyles to give the Blue Jays a 6-4 lead. Bautista's fourth homer of the spring was a no-doubter that appeared to sail over the trees located just beyond the wall in left.
Bautista later drove in Emilio Bonifacio with a sixth-inning single to break a 6-6 tie. Josh Thole homered in the seventh, and right fielder Ryan Langerhans hit a two-run blast in the eighth to cushion Toronto's lead.
Mark DeRosa added a double, while Adam Lind enjoyed a two-hit performance with an RBI. Another key contributor was J.P. Arencibia, who had a hit and an RBI in his first spring game since returning from the World Baseball Classic, where he was playing for Team USA.
Lyles was charged with six runs on 10 hits while striking out three. That continues a troubling spring trend that has seen the 22-year-old allow a total of 36 hits and 23 earned runs in just 11 2/3 innings. He entered camp as the favorite to earn the No. 3 starter's job, but that has since been put in doubt.
Toronto's No. 3 starter, Mark Buehrle, also suffered through a rather inconsistent outing. Buehrle was solid for most of the afternoon, with the exception of an ugly third inning that saw him allow four runs on five consecutive hits.
"I got into a jam, missed some pitches and they made me pay for it," Buehrle said. "I thought I made some good pitches, and they still put the ball in play. I'm going to give up hits, I'm going to give up runs; I just have to try to keep it to a minimum in certain innings. It seems like there's always an inning here and there that always gets to me. I just need to keep those as short as I can."
Houston's Brandon Barnes delivered the biggest blow with a two-run shot to left field, while Chris Carter, Justin Maxwell and Brandon Laird delivered the extra-base hits. Jason Castro connected on a two-run homer off Toronto reliever Sergio Santos.
Buehrle was charged with four runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out four. He threw 48 of his 73 pitches for strikes in his fifth start of the spring, and his ERA during the Grapefruit League season now sits at 6.23.
Up next: Right-hander Jeremy Jeffress will make his first start of the spring when Toronto visits the Orioles in a 1:05 p.m. ET start Wednesday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium, available on an exclusive webcast. Jeffress' extended outing does not mean he is being transitioned to a starter; he is instead getting some extra work as he competes for a job in long relief. Jeffress will be followed by Dave Bush and Guillermo Moscoso, while Steve Delabar and Aaron Loup will each throw in a Minor League game.