By JEFF ODOM
DUNEDIN, Fla. — Carlos Beltran homered for his first hit this spring, leading the New York Yankees past the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 on Sunday.
Jose Bautista hit his second homer in exhibition play for the Blue Jays.
Beltran’s solo home run came in the third off reliever Todd Redmond and landed far over the right-field fence. It capped a four-run inning that included a two-run homer by Eduardo Nunez.
Beltran signed a three-year, $45 million contract with the Yankees in the offseason. He batted .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs with the St. Louis Cardinals last year.
“You want to see guys swinging the bat well, obviously, but it’s really important at the end,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
“It doesn’t really matter sometimes. You can be swinging the bat horrible at the end of spring training and get off to a hot start and vice versa. But it’s always nice to see.”
Bautista connected off Vidal Nuno in the first. Nuno struck out three and gave up two hits in two innings.
Toronto starter Esmil Rogers tossed two innings and allowed an earned run. The right-hander gave up three hits and struck out one.
Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion, Melky Cabrera and Adam Lind each doubled for the Blue Jays.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter did not play.
Blue Jays: Rogers threw 36 pitches and worked almost-exclusively on his changeup, which he said is progressing well.
“That’s what I was working for,” Rogers said. “Down in the Dominican (Republic) during winter ball, I worked on my changeup and now I feel more comfortable. I got it before. The only reason is I didn’t have too much confidence to throw that. Right now, I can throw anything I want.”
Rogers was 5-9 with a 4.77 ERA in 44 games with the Blue Jays last season. He is a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Yankees: Nuno said he felt as if he “got a little happy with the fastball,” which led to Bautista’s home run.
Nuno, who is a contender for the fifth spot in the rotation, appeared in five games with the Yankees last season and made three starts. He finished 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA.
“Overall, I’m just pleased a little bit with how the outcome came,” he said. “It was just one pitch and Bautista just hit it out. Location was good and everything. (My fastball) just got overused a little bit and I wasn’t using my secondary (pitches) like I was supposed to do.”
Blue Jays: Colby Rasmus was scratched from Sunday’s lineup because of a stiff neck.
Rasmus was set to bat seventh, but opted to sit as a precaution. He does not expect it to be a long-term issue and hopes to return in a “couple days.”
“I feel all right, I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning,” Rasmus said.
Anthony Gose took Rasmus’ place in center field and was 0 for 3 with a strikeout.
Manager John Gibbons said closer Casey Janssen had an MRI on his sore right shoulder, but it did not show any damage.
“It’s just inflamed,” Gibbons said. “There’s a lot of wear and tear on a guy over the years. He’s smart, backed off and we’ll give him a little breather. There’s still a full month (of spring training) left. He’ll be ready to go.”
Janssen, who saved 34 games for the Blue Jays last season, said he plans to rest and start throwing again in a few days.
Yankees: Girardi said first baseman Mark Teixeira, limited to 15 games last season because of a right wrist injury, might play in his first spring training game on Thursday or Friday.
Alfonso Soriano, recovering from flu-like symptoms, went through a workout Sunday morning that included batting practice and defensive drills.
The outfielder/designated hitter could play in his first exhibition game in the next few days.
The Yankees dealt with a minor scare before the game when a towel inside of a dryer caught fire in the grounds crew clubhouse located next door to the team’s clubhouse.
Girardi joked that “it got a little smoky” and said some players evacuated.
There was no reported damage or injuries.
Yankees fifth starter candidate Michael Pineda, who missed the past two seasons after right shoulder surgery, threw 21 of 35 pitches for strikes in a simulated game.
He faced 10 batters, allowing two hits, striking out one and walking his final two hitters.
Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda are scheduled to pitch in Friday’s game against the Tigers in Tampa.
Giants 5, D-backs 3
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Right-hander Tim Hudson made his first start since breaking his ankle on July 24, pitching two no-hit innings, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 Sunday.
Hudson, who signed a two-year, $23 million free-agent contract over the winter, threw 27 pitches and struck out a batter. He also helped turn a first base-to-shortstop-to pitcher double play to end the second. He broke his ankle while covering first base against Atlanta.
Left-hander Wade Miley pitched four innings and gave up a run on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts for the Diamondbacks.
Cardinals 7, Mets 1
JUPITER, Fla. — Matt Holliday doubled in both at-bats and drove in two runs Sunday for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 7-1 win over the New York Mets.
Holiday didn’t play in the Cardinals’ spring training opener on Friday. He singled and walked in two plate appearances as the designated hitter Saturday.
Holliday’s first double came off starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose competing for the fifth spot in the Mets’ rotation.
A 30-pitch first inning that included two walks kept Cardinals starter Michael Wacha from getting out of the second. He reached his pitch cap after retiring the first two batters of the second without allowing a run.
Former University of Hawaii and Kamehameha-Hawaii standout Kolten Wong went 0 for 2 for the Cardinals.
Rays 6, Twins 3
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer and Grant Balfour was perfect in his first appearance in a Tampa Bay uniform since 2010, helping the Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 6-3.
Jerry Sands also homered for the Rays, who got a quick third inning from Balfour, as well as 1 2-3 scoreless innings from starter Alex Cobb.
Offseason acquisition Ricky Nolasco allowed two hits in two scoreless innings for the Twins, who signed him to a $49 million, four-year deal this winter and are counting on the right-hander to help bolster a struggling pitching staff that posted a major league-worst 5.26 ERA last season.
Oswaldo Arcia and Brandon Waring hit solo homers for the Twins. Waring’s shot was a mammoth drive that struck the roof of an island-themed bar and gathering spot beyond the left-centerfield wall.
Red Sox 8, Orioles 6
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski was in the stands and watched his grandson score a run for the Baltimore Orioles in their 8-6 loss to Boston.
Mike Yastrzemski played in his first major league spring training game. The 23-year-old entered as a pinch runner in the sixth inning, scored and then played right field. He was hitless in one at-bat.
The younger Yaz was the Orioles’ 14th-round draft pick last June from Vanderbilt. He hit .273 with three homers and 25 RBIs in 57 games in short-season Class A. The Red Sox drafted him late in 2009 out of a Massachusetts high school, but he went to college.
Mike Napoli hit his first homer of the spring for Boston.
Felix Doubront started for Boston, going two scoreless innings with a hit and three strikeouts.
Orioles starter Brian Matusz gave up two hits in two shutout innings.
Tigers 0, Braves (ss) 0 (10 inn.)
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez allowed one hit in two scoreless innings in a game that eventually ended in a 0-0, 10-inning tie between the Tigers and an Atlanta Braves split squad.
Sanchez was the American League’s ERA leader last year, and he struck out 17 against Atlanta in an electrifying April outing. The Braves struck out only once this time in Sanchez’s abbreviated start.
Ryan Doumit doubled to lead off the Atlanta second and went to third on a groundout by Chris Johnson that nearly hit Sanchez.
The Detroit right-hander shook off that close call, striking out Dan Uggla and getting Joey Terdoslavich on a groundout to end the inning.
“I don’t think too much about the situation right now,” Sanchez said. “If Doumit scores or not … right now, I work more on my command.”
The 0-0 tie came one day after the Braves lost to Washington 16-15.