Kaprielian dazzles in win over Blue JaysYankees roll to 11-5 win as promising right-hander fires two scoreless innings
New York took the first lead thanks to Chris Carter's RBI groundout in the first, but Toronto rallied for three in the first and one in the second off starter Luis Cessa, who lasted just 1 2/3 innings and allowed those four runs on six hits and one walk (with two strikeouts).
Solo homers by Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks in the third cut the deficit to 4-3, though, and Rob Refsnyder's solo shot in the fourth tied it up. Toronto re-took the lead in the sixth on Ryan Goins' RBI triple, but Clint Frazier's solo homer in the seventh re-knotted the score, and the Yankees exploded for six in the final two innings to salt it away.
In the seventh, Ji-Man Choi's RBI groundout gave the Yankees a 6-5 lead, and Mason Williams followed with an RBI single to make it 7-5. Then, in the eighth, the Yankees scored on four plays: Billy McKinney reaching on an error allowed Donovan Solano to score to make it 8-5; Choi's RBI single added the ninth run; Williams lifted a sac fly to score McKinney to double up the score; and Frazier's infield single tallied the game's final run.
Overall offensively, the Yankees had 14 hits, with Hicks, Frazier, Castro, and Ronald Torreyes all going 2-for-3. Add in Solano's 1-for-3 day and Pete Kozma going 0-for-2, and the top three in the order went a combined 9-for-17 with three homers, four RBI, and five runs scored. Tyler Wade also had a hit in his only at-bat to push his spring average to .440, but on the downside, the middle of the starting lineup (Chris Carter, Aaron Judge, and Kyle Higashioka) went a combined 0-for-9 with four strikeouts, although Carter did draw a walk and notch the early RBI.
On the mound behind Cessa, Ben Heller came in and allowed just one walk in 1 1/3 innings, striking out two, and Bryan Mitchell finished with a line of one run on two hits and a walk and struck out five over his three innings.
James Kaprielian made his Grapefruit League debut in the seventh and ended up pitching two scoreless innings, allowing just one walk and fanning three, and J.R. Graham struck out the side in the ninth to close it out, working around a two-out Ruben Tejada error that put Darrell Ceciliani on base.
With the win, the Yankees improve to 15-5 in Grapefruit League play and 16-5 overall on the spring. They're on the road once again on Friday, and Masahiro Tanaka will be on the mound when they head to Lakeland for a 1:05 p.m. start with the Tigers.