Jays beat Orioles 7-4

It was another tough outing for Brett Cecil. The Toronto starter gave up four earned runs on nine hits in over just four innings of work Tuesday, but the Blue Jays still managed to beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-4.

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Brett Cecil throws in the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Brett Cecil throws in the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota

SARASOTA, Fla. — It was another tough outing for Brett Cecil.

The Toronto starter gave up four earned runs on nine hits in over just four innings of work Tuesday, but the Blue Jays still managed to beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-4.

There was nothing wrong with Toronto’s offence as Aaron Hill went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Adam Lind went deep in the seventh while designated-hitter Juan Rivera also went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for the Jays.

Although he finished 0-2 with a 5.96 earned-run average this spring, Cecil said he’s ready for the start of the regular season.

“I’m happy where I’m at right now as far as going into the season, regardless of how many runs I gave up,” Cecil said.

After his last start, the left-hander was concerned about an inexplicable loss of velocity. He said his velocity felt better this time, but his command was off.

David Purcey picked up the win with two innings of scoreless relief.

Orioles first baseman Derrek Lee capped a difficult spring training with three hits and an RBI. After agreeing to a US$7.25-million, one-year contract as a free agent on Jan. 6, Lee didn’t play in an exhibition game until March 19 because of a sore wrist.

Then, in his first at-bat, he fouled a ball off his foot.

He ended up playing in only eight games this spring, but the last one was a keeper.

But the question remains whether Lee got enough at-bats to be ready for opening day.

“There’s no choice. We’re playing Tampa Bay on April 1, so I’ll be ready to go,” he said.

Lee doubled and scored in the first inning, singled in a run in the second and hit a leadoff double in the fourth. He struck out against Purcey in his final at-bat.

“I’ve been starting to feel a little better the last couple days and it definitely felt good,” Lee said. “I’m seeing the ball good.”

Manager Buck Showalter agreed.

“That’s probably his best looks at the plate,” Showalter said.

Lee had surgery in November to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, an injury he sustained on opening day last year with the Chicago Cubs.

The cast caused Lee’s wrist to atrophy, which led to soreness in spring training that forced the Orioles to shut him down and later restrict him to hitting soft toss and off a tee. X-rays and a magnetic resonance imaging test didn’t reveal any structural damage, but Lee needed to reduce the inflammation before he could play.