TOR@BAL: Cecil fans pinch-hitter Thome in the seventh

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Brett Cecil -- aside from one pitch -- turned in another solid outing Sunday in his latest audition for one of the final available spots in the Blue Jays bullpen.

After throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings Thursday against the Yankees, Cecil allowed just one run -- a homer to Jason Castro -- while striking out one and walking none over 1 1/3 innings in Sunday's loss to the Astros.

For the third straight appearance, Cecil entered the game in the middle of an inning -- something the former starter said is helpful in preparing for a potential full-time bullpen role.

"It's something you want to get used to because it's going to happen more than not," Cecil said. "You're not always going to get a clean inning to start with."

Cecil, following a slight pause, then added: "Actually, I take that back. With our starting rotation, we probably will."

Though Cecil was used exclusively out of the bullpen for the final month last season, it's still something that will take some getting used to. Prior to September, only one of Cecil's 75 Major League appearances had come in relief. With that in mind, this camp is the first chance for Cecil to work on the transition outside of the regular season.

"There are going to be those times when you need to be ready in a hurry. You only have one out or two outs and then you have to face a hitter, so you have to get ready pretty quick. So it's nice to get used to that down here."

Dickey returns to camp, focused on Opening Day start

DOM@USA: Dickey tosses five frames of one-run ball

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Following his stint with Team USA at the World Baseball Classic, R.A. Dickey will return to the mound for the Blue Jays on Tuesday in a Minor League game.

Dickey, along with catcher and Team USA teammate J.P. Arencibia, rejoined the team Saturday afternoon after the United States was eliminated on Friday night. Now, Dickey's focus returns solely to preparing for his Opening Day starting role with his new club.

Prior to Dickey's departure for the Classic, the knuckleballer had made two Grapefruit League appearances, totaling five innings. Including his two outings for Team USA, Dickey has registered 14 innings of game action in four combined appearances this spring.

In 2012, Dickey pitched 17 1/3 spring innings with the Mets before turning in his National League Cy Young Award-winning season.

Worth noting

• Manager John Gibbons wasn't with the team for Sunday's game in Kissimmee, as it was predetermined he would have the day off to take his family to the airport. Bench coach DeMarlo Hale assumed the managerial duties on Sunday, and Gibbons will return to the dugout for Tuesday's game against the Astros following Monday's off-day.

• Casey Janssen will see his first game action of the spring Sunday when he pitches in a Minor League contest. The closer -- who underwent offseason surgery that involved shaving down the collarbone in his right shoulder -- remains hopeful that he'll be ready for Opening Day, and Sunday's outing is certainly a step in the right direction.