Dickey sharp in start

The Associated Press

DUNEDIN, Fla.—R.A. Dickey tossed three scoreless innings, and Michael Saunders hit his third homer in as many games, as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 yesterday.
Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner, allowed one hit to Gordon Beckham to open the third.
The knuckleballer threw 31 pitches and walked just one.
“I think the No. 1 thing that I care about at this point is having a repeatable mechanic,” Dickey said.
“Are my pitches in the strike zone? Are all three of the pitches that I mainly throw coming out of my hand in the strike zone and staying a strike for a long amount of time?
“And the answer to that is ‘yes’ right now.
“I just want to keep building that end to my foundation, and then I’ve got about three more weeks to build up a little more arm strength and be ready to go,” he added.
Saunders, who homered twice and drove in five runs during Saturday’s victory over Philadelphia, connected for a long solo shot to right-field in the third off reliever Alexi Ogando.
“He’s confident [and] that’s big,” said Jays’ manager John Gibbons.
“He feels good and he’s got something to prove here,” Gibbons added.
“He wants to be a big part of this.”
Ryan Goins added an RBI double for the Jays in the fourth.
Reid Brignac singled home Atlanta’s run off Aaron Sanchez in the fifth.
After dropping 12 pounds and undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right knee during the off-season, the 41-year-old Dickey said he’s feeling better than he has in a long time.
“I’m not necessarily a body image guy but I want to feel good,” he remarked.
“I want to wake up out of bed and have those first five or six steps not kill me when I get up.
“Right now, I feel great,” he added. “Before, it wasn’t so much that way.”
Jays’ left-hander Brett Cecil appeared in a game for the first time since tearing his left calf muscle against Texas in Game 2 of the AL Division Series.
He allowed a hit and struck out one in the eighth.
“I just wanted the calf to feel good,” Cecil noted.