Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Justin Germano Lone Pitcher to Resist Astros in Blue Jays' 10-1 Loss

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Justin Germano Lone Pitcher to Resist Astros in Blue Jays' 10-1 Loss

Article excerpt

Germano earns praise in Blue Jays' loss


DUNEDIN, Fla. - On a day where Toronto pitchers were handing out hits like Halloween candy, a stingy Justin Germano stood out.

The journeyman right-hander threw two scoreless innings of relief, striking out four. The Houston Astros feasted on the rest of the Jays pitching, collecting 18 hits in a 10-1 Grapefruit League win Wednesday.

"He was really the only one that was sharp today," said manager John Gibbons. "Everybody else got hit around pretty good or they had trouble locating the ball or (were) behind everybody. That's two good ones in a row for him. But he can pitch, that's what he does."

Germano has done it for more than a few organizations, albeit with varying results. Prior to signing a minor-league contract with the Jays in November, the 30-year-old right-hander had stints with the Padres, Indians, Reds, Cubs, Red Sox and South Korea's Samsung Lions.

He struck out four in his two innings work Wednesday.

"I was able to throw strikes with all three pitches, got a few strikeouts and I felt it was a pretty good outing," said Germano.

His career major-league record is 10-30 with a 5.27 ERA in 93 appearances.

But Germano has a perfect game on his resume. Pitching for the Columbus Clippers, he blanked the Syracuse Chiefs 3-0 on July 26, 2011, in triple-A ball.

He was just happy to get the off-season call from Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos.

"Alex called me himself and told me about the opportunity that was here and it sounded too good to pass up," he said. "Obviously nobody knew they were going to do what they did and it's not the most ideal situation for me but I'm happy to be here and hope to be a part of this team because they're going to do something special this year."

There are a lot of pitchers competing for two spots in the Jays bullpen. Gibbons, who is looking for a reliever who can "eat some innings up," said Germano helped his cause Wednesday

"You never know. He's got some experience."

The Jays, who led the majors with a 24-7 spring record last year, slipped to 2-4. Houston improved to 3-2 on a sunny afternoon before 2,691 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

It was a sloppy performance by Toronto.

"It usually happens when you're getting beat around on the mound," said Gibbons, who also pointed to some good young talent in the Houston lineup.

Houston prospect George Springer homered twice and drove in five runs to trigger the Astro offence.

Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia hit his first homer of the spring, drilling Wesley Wight's first pitch in the third over the centre-field fence to reduce Houston's lead to 4-1. …

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