DUNEDIN — After a shaky start, Kyle Drabek rallied for an effective debut in his bid for a job in the Blue Jays’ starting rotation.
Drabek, the favourite in the competition for one of two starting roles, gave up three singles to the first four batters he faced, but dominated thereafter in a two-inning stint.
After surrendering a run, he got out of the first inning with a double-play ball, then disposed of the Tigers in a 1-2-3 second inning that included two strikeouts.
“First inning I was a little amped up,” admitted Drabek. “I tried to stay calm but it was just a case of adrenalin.”
Drabek had been scheduled to start last Monday but came up with a stiff neck a couple of days before that start.
“I woke up last Saturday and couldn’t turn left. No problem turning right, but I have to turn left to see home plate,” he said.
Jo-Jo Reyes, also a starting candidate had a bounce-back outing, working three hitless innings, allowing only a walk that was erased on a double play ball.
“He was able to put three consecutive innings together where he maintained his focus,” said manager John Farrell. “He has four major-league pitches and he used them all today effectively.”