BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) – Finally healthy after a three-year battle with injuries, right-hander Gavin Floyd turned in a solid start for the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday in a 10-8 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Justin Smoak hit a towering solo home run for the Blue Jays. The ball rode a light breeze and cleared the concourse in right-center field.
Floyd worked two innings and gave up one run on two hits. He walked one and struck out two.
The 33-year-old Floyd had Tommy John surgery in 2013. While working his way back, he twice snapped a bone in his elbow.
“I expect to attack, but that wasn’t the case today,” Floyd said. “I’ll make adjustments and start making quality pitches. I knew I was going to be amped up. The longer you’re out there, the more you calm down.”
Floyd has pitched a total of 21 games in the majors over the last three seasons with the White Sox, Braves and Indians. He has a shot to make Toronto’s rotation, but could end up in the bullpen.
“I want to be a starter. That’s my comfort zone,” he said. “I’m treating this as a spring when I’m getting ready for the season. It’s all going to play out. Whether I’m in the bullpen of the starting rotation, I’m just glad to be back.”
Mike Morse’s RBI double gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Blue Jays put six straight runners on base with two outs in the second and scored four runs off Pirates newcomer Jon Niese. Michael Saunders hit a two-run single.
Niese worked two innings and gave up four runs on five hits. He was acquired in December in a trade that sent 2B Neil Walker to the New York Mets.