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New York Yankees Reaction: Nasty Nate Sharp, Castro Homers in Win

The New York Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 on Wednesday night, capturing their second straight victory. 

  • Toronto Blue Jays: 1 (10-3)
  • New York Yankees: 2 (5-8-2)
  • Grapefruit League, Final, Box Score
  • George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, FL

By Christian Kouroupakis

Nathan Eovaldi, who’s trying to build on a solid first year in New York, was given the starting nod and he certainly looked like “Nasty Nate” this evening.

The right hander pitched two hit-less innings while striking out two and walking two as well.

His fastball looked as electric as always, but Eovaldi did leave his splitter up in the zone far too many times. He got away with it, actually striking out Josh Donaldson on one, but he’ll work on the location as Opening Day approaches.

Eovaldi was 14-3 with a 4.20 ERA in 2015, and found most of his success in the second half of the season after perfecting his split finger. He went 5-1 with a 3.67 ERA after the midsummer classic.

After Eovaldi’s scoreless top of the second, the Bombers got their only runs on the board after Starlin Castro cranked one over the right center field wall off Drew Hutchinson.

It was Castro’s first home run as a New York Yankee, as he continues his hot spring. His batting average is at a red-hot .429 in Spring Training action.

The newly acquired second baseman also flashed some leather at his fairly new position.

In the top of the third, on what seemed to be a bloop single in shallow right field, he went back as right fielder Carlos Beltran charged. Castro reached out in desperation made a ridiculous over the shoulder catch robbing Kevin Pillar of a base hit.

We got our first look at Brett Gardner who made his spring debut after being out of action with a wrist injury. The speedster hurt his right wrist after colliding with the wall during the Yankees Wild Card game loss to the Houston Astros last fall.

Gardner, in his first live at bat of 2016, grounded out on a dribbler to the right side of the infield. He finished his day 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

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New York’s offense, besides Castro’s homer, were quiet as they only managed four hits of Toronto pitching. They left four men on base, and were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

We also got to see closer Aroldis Chapman throw an inning, and the flamethrower struck out two out of the three batters he faced in a 1-2-3 fourth inning.

Diego Moreno, Branden Pinder, James Pazos, Richard Bleier, and Kirby Yates pitched the rest of the ballgame. The five relievers combined for nine strikeouts in five innings while only allowing one run on four hits.

The ninth inning was a little bit concerning, as Toronto brought the tying run to third base with only one out in the inning. Yates battled back, however, and he got Ryan McBroom to fly out to shallow right field to secure a 2-1 Yankee win.

The Yankees will head on over to McKenchnie Field in Bradenton to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. Game time is at 1:05 and you can catch the ballgame on MLB.tv or ROOT Sports Network.

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