Yankees lose Granderson, drop 2-0 game to Jays in home opener
While batting with two on and two out in the bottom of the first, Granderson was hit on the right forearm by a J.A. Happ pitch and left the game immediately to be taken for X-rays, which revealed the fracture and put even more of a damper on a gray afternoon in Tampa where the Yankees out-hit Toronto but could not scratch out a run.
Their best opportunity came in that first inning, as the Yankees were a couple of bang-bang plays away from breaking it open early. After Brett Gardner singled to lead off the game, Ichiro Suzuki hit a slow roller that saw shortstop Lance Zawadski's throw to second base just nip Gardner sliding in, and moments later Melky Cabrera made a diving catch in left field to rob Robinson Cano of a base hit.
The Yankees then loaded the bases on a Mark Teixeira single and Granderson's hit-by-pitch, but Kevin Youkilis' drive to the warning track was snagged by right fielder Ryan Langerhans to end the threat.
Toronto got all it would need with two outs in the third inning, when Anthony Gose tripled off Cody Eppley (0-1) and Emilio Bonifacio followed with an RBI single. The Jays also got an insurance run thanks to Sean Ochinko's RBI double off Juan Cedeno (1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 K) in the eighth -- a play that saw Ochinko himself take a wide turn around second and get thrown out scrambling back when shortstop Cito Culver's relay throw to the plate was cut off by first baseman Addison Maruszak.
The Yankees then mounted a two-out rally in the ninth with a single and a walk off Rich Thompson, but Maruszak flew out to left to end the game.
In the loss, the Yankees did get a great effort from their pitching staff, led by starter Adam Warren. He struck out two in two innings and saw his only blemish come when he hit Brett Lawrie with a pitch leading off the second.
Righty Matt Daley also turned in an impressive performance in the fourth, striking out a pair and retiring three straight batters after allowing a leadoff double to Lawrie. Following Warren, Eppley and Daley, lefty Francisco Rondon (1 1/3 IP, 1 H) and righty Preston Claiborne (1 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 K) pitched the fifth through seventh for the Yanks, with Jim Miller (1 IP, 1 K) following Cedeno in the ninth.
Offensively, the Yankees got their 11 hits from 11 different players, including top catching prospect Gary Sanchez's dribbler down the third base line in the eighth inning that went as an infield hit.
For the Jays, Zawadski (2-for-3) was the hitting star, and manager John Gibbons got two scoreless but shaky innings each from Happ, Brett Cecil, Justin Germano and Claudio Vargas before Thompson closed out the ninth to record the save.
Now without their leading home run hitter from 2012, the Yankees will head out on the road for two days, taking on the Orioles in Sarasota on Monday and battling the Phillies in Clearwater on Tuesday before returning home to face a Baltimore split-squad at Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday (1 p.m. on YES).
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES
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