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Pearson strikes out side in first spring start

DUNEDIN, Fla. – Top Toronto prospect Nate Pearson struck out the side in his one-inning pre-season debut as the Blue Jays lost 4-1 to the New York Yankees in split-squad action Monday.

Pearson struck out Tyler Wade, Miguel Andujar and Mike Tauchman to open the game before giving way to Julian Merryweather.

The 23-year-old Pearson is projected to start the season with triple-A Buffalo. A first-round pick (28th overall) of the Blue Jays in 2017, Pearson split time between double-A New Hampshire (1-4 with a 2.59 ERA in 16 starts) and Buffalo (1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts) last season.

Merryweather gave up one run in his one inning of work. Philippe Aumount of Gatineau, Que., gave up the other three Yankees runs in two innings of relief for Toronto.

Blue Jays shortstop Santiago Espinal’s homer accounted for the lone Toronto run.

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Meanwhile, the other Blue Jays split-squad downed a Philadelphia Phillies split-squad 13-6 in Clearwater, Fla.

First baseman Rowdy Tellez had a three-run homer and an RBI double for Toronto. Billy McKinney and Reggie Pruitt also homered for the Blue Jays.

Right-hander Chase Anderson, a projected member of the Blue Jays starting rotation, gave up two runs on two hits in two innings in his Toronto debut.

The Blue Jays (3-1-1) face the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. Right-hander Trent Thornton, battling for a spot in the Toronto rotation, is the scheduled starter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2020.