New York Yankees Recap: Higashioka homers twice, pitching stellar in Yankee win

William Parlee

Last night the New York Yankees faced the Toronto Blue Jays for the fourth time this season. The game was at TD Stadium in Dunedin, Florida, the temporary home of the Blue Jays, until they can get back into Roger’s Center in Toronto. Ace Gerrit Cole started for the Yankees and Robbie Ray for the Jays. Cole is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA on the season. Ray is made his Jay’s debut after falling down stairs and starting the season on the IL. There were 1,500 fans in the stands; it looked like much more because many seats were filled with fan cutouts. The Yankees won the game 3-1.

Robbie Ray took to the mound in the first facing DJ LeMahieu, who struck out. Giancarlo Stanton, in the unusual number two spot, ground out to first base. Aaron Judge flew out to right field, ending the half. At the bottom, Marcus Semien popped out to catcher Higashioka, Bo Bichette singled. Vlad Guerrero Jr. singles moving Bichette to third with one out. Randal Grichuk flew out, but Bichette scored for the Jays lead. Cavan Biggio struck out swinging to end the have, but the Jays put up a run. Jays 1, Yankees 0.

Gleyber Torres led off the second against Robbie Ray, and he walked. Gio Urshela hit into a double play. Clint Frazier walked. Rougned Odor ground up the middle to end the half. Lourds Gurriel Jr. led off the bottom, walking. Rowdy Tellez singled. Alejandro Kirk was called out of strikes. Josh Palacios struck out, as did Marcus Semien getting Cole out of the inning. Jays 1 Yankees 0.

To start the third, Kyle Higashioka flew out. Mike Tauchman made the second out, flying out to center. DJ LeMahieu struck out for the fast half for Ray. Bo Bichette lead of the bottom flying out to Tauchman. Guerrero Jr., he struck out. Grichuk also flew out to Tauchman, who was in for Aaron Hicks in center to end the inning.

At the top of the fourth, Giancarlo Stanton ground out. Aaron Judge walked. Gleyber Torres flew way out to right, and Gio Urshela ground out to end the half. The New York Yankees had failed to get a hit off Ray. Baggio led off the bottom of the fourth by flying out to Tauchman. Gurriel Jr. ground out, and Tellez lined out to left, making for Cole’s quick inning. Jays 1 Yankees. 0.

Clint Frazier led off the fifth by striking out. Odor got the Yankees’ first hit of the night down the right-field line. Kyle Higashioka hit a home run over the center-field stands driving in two runs and giving the New York Yankee the 2 run lead in the game. Mike Tauchman followed with the third straight hit off Ray for a single. LeMahieu hit into a double play to end the inning, but the Yankees took the 2 run lead off Higashioka’s home run. Kirk ground out on a bullet to Urshela. Palacios went down on strikes. Semien flew out to Clint Frazier in left for a 1-2-3 inning for Cole. Yankees 2 Jays 1.

Rafael Dolis replaced Robbie Ray in the sixth, and he struck out Giancarlo Stanton. Aaron Judge walked, Gleyber Torres hit into a double play, leaving Judge on base. Cole took to the mound in the sixth, having thrown 80 pitches. Bichette struck out swinging. Guerrero Jr. ground out, and Grichuk struck out for another 1-2-3 inning for Cole. Yankees 2 Jays 1.

Urshela ground out to start the seventh, with Frazier following with another ground out. The Jays then had a pitching change bringing in Borucki. Odor grounded out to end the half. Cavan Biggio led off the bottom with Justin Wilson pitching. Cole had put down the last 15 Jays in a row. Biggio flew out to Gardner that was replacing Frazier in left field. Gurriel Jr. flew out to Tauchman, and Tellez ground out as the Yankee bullpen continued to be dominant. Yankees 2 Jays 1.

Kyle Higashioka started off the eighth inning by getting his second home run of a night, a long one to centerfield. Tauchman struck out, and the Jays had another pitching change to Thronton. Lemahieu struck out for the third time, and Stanton ground out to third. At the bottom, Darren O’Day took over for Wilson. Panik struck out. Palacios flew out to Gardner, who didn’t have to move to make the catch. Semien got a two-out single to left field. Bichette walked. Guerrero Jr. struck out to get the job done for O’Day.

At the top of the ninth inning, Aaron Judge ground out to third base. Gleyber Torres struck out. Gio Urshela walked. They had a pitching change bringing in  Tim Mayza to face Gardner. Urshela stole second. Gardy stuck out. Aroldis Chapman came in at the bottom to close it out for the New York Yankees. Grichuk doubled; Tauchman laid out his body but couldn’t catch it. Biggio flew out to Gardner. Gurriel Jr. struck out. Tellez struck out, ending the game with the Yankee’s 3-1 win. The winning pitcher was Gerrit Cole, and the loser was Robbie Ray, and the save went to Chapman.