By on March 3, 2012

Opening Day 2012 vs Pittsburgh Pirates (Eddie michels photo)

DUNEDIN, Fla.—The Toronto Blue Jays took their 36th spring home opener 7-1 over the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday.

Getting the win in relief was Kyle Drabek for his one shutout inning while the Pirates starter James McDonald took the loss for two innings of work.

Eddie Michels photo

The big bats for the Jays were Brett Lawrie who went 2-3 with three RBI and Eric Thames who had an RBI single to go with his solo homer in the fifth.

“It was well struck,” said Manager John Farrell of Thames opposite field shot to left.

Gusting winds coming in from right center cause numerous fielding problems for both teams.

Toronto pitching allowed just one run on three hits, walking three and striking out seven.

“Overall it was a very good day,” said Farrell, “Everybody came to the mound and kept it over the plate.”

It was also a special day for Farrell in one respect, his son Jeremy was playing third for the Pirates going 0-1 at the plate with a walk.

“Anytime you get to see your son in a game it’s a special moment,” said Farrell who son was at Double-A Altoona in 2011, “Now all he has to do is

Eddie Michels photo

just stay healthy.”

The same two teams go at it tomorrow in Bradenton with a 1:05 PM scheduled first pitch.

Jose Bautista takes BP last week. (Eddie michels photo)

BLUE JAYS NOTES: Toronto manager John Farrell was ask about Jose Bautista the 2010 and 2011 major league homerun champion hitting in the third spot in the order.  “I think the best hitter should be in the three hole,” said Farrell, “I would rather have him come up in the first inning with two outs than not at all.”

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