DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) - Ricky Romero didn't pitch like a No. 1 starter.
A day after being named Toronto's opening day starter, Romero gave up four runs on four hits and five walks working into the fourth inning before the Blue Jays rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 in a split-squad game for both teams.
``He never seemed to find a rhythm (to) use multiple pitches for strikes,' Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. ``He had a hard time even establishing one pitch for a go-to strike if he fell behind in the count. It was a struggle for him, no question.'
Romero said he felt fine warming up in the bullpen, but once the game started, ``I just had no feel for my fastball or anything else.'
``I don't think it's anything to worry about, just a bad day,' Romero said. ``It's embarrassing to go out there and walk five guys. I've been known to walk guys before but this is really uncharacteristic of me.'
Andrew McCutcheon doubled in the Pirates' two-run first inning, scoring on Andy Marte's double.
Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo home run in the fourth inning and Jose Bautista tied it 4-all in the fifth with a two-run double following singles by Rajai Davis and Mike McCoy.
In the seventh, McCoy singled off Ramon Aguero and Bautista walked with two outs before Travis Snider broke the tie with a single, and Aguero sent another run home with a wild pitch.
NOTES: Outfielder Scott Podsednik was scratched from Toronto's lineup, one day after his spring debut, due to a flareup of plantar fasciitis, inflammation in his left heel. ``It's a little more tender than I expected it today,' Podsednik said, ``so we're going to give it day, try to do what we can to calm it down, come back tomorrow and see where we are.' The Blue Jays claimed left-hander Cesar Cabral from the Tampa Bay Rays. To make room for him Toronto placed right-hander Dustin McGowan (shoulder) on the 60-day disabled list. Brandon Morrow will start for the Blue Jays Sunday against Chris Bootcheck and the visiting Rays. With Toronto off Monday, Brett Cecil will pitch in his regular turn against Blue Jays minor leaguers.
The Associated Press News Service
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