SARASOTA, Fla. -- As rain continued to fall during his drive to Ed Smith Stadium on Wednesday morning, Brian Tallet figured it was just his luck. Tallet's previous scheduled start was scrapped due to a heavy downpour, and the left-hander was forced to complete his work indoors.
"I was like, 'You know what?'" Tallet said with a laugh. "'It's only about right that it's probably going to rain us out and I'm going to have to go get in a cage again.'"
By the time Tallet arrived in Sarasota, though, the clouds had moved on and the southpaw was able to take the mound as planned. With the sun above, Tallet made quick work of the Orioles in a 4-1 victory for the Blue Jays. The lefty worked extensively on his sinker, and the results were promising.
Over four innings, Tallet allowed no runs and just one hit -- a leadoff single to Baltimore's Cesar Izturis in the first. Tallet kept a firm grasp on a spot in Toronto's rotation with six groundouts, three strikeouts and no walks. Following Izturis' base hit, Tallet settled in and retired the next 12 batters he faced in order during a 52-pitch performance.
The outing was fast, efficient and reassured Tallet that the work he's done with his two-seam sinking fastball is starting to pay off.
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"To be able to get ground balls with the two-seamer is something that could really help me a lot," Tallet said. "That's what you're looking to do. You're trying to get ground balls and quick outs, and I was able to do that today."
Tallet said that he struggled with his two-seamer last season, when he shifted out of Toronto's bullpen and made 25 starts. The lefty had trouble finding a comfortable grip until this spring, when new bullpen coach Rick Langford introduced Tallet to a new way of throwing the pitch.
Against the Orioles, Tallet focused on using more two-seamers than any other pitch. The southpaw did mix in four-seam fastballs and changeups, and he worked on his curve when the left-handed-hitting Nick Markakis was at the plate in the first inning. All in all, Tallet walked away pleased with the way he was locating each of his pitches, especially the sinker.
"It feels comfortable to me, more than anything," Tallet said of the pitch. "That's what I was using out there, and if I can take that pitch out there, I'd take that every day."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.