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New York Yankees Reaction: Puello Hits Go-Ahead Home Run To Lift Yanks

The New York Yankees took their second straight victory this afternoon after defeating the Minnesota Twins 6-4 this afternoon. 

  • New York Yankees: 6(8-9)
  • Minnesota Twins: 4 (9-8)
  • Grapefruit League, FINAL, Box Score
  • Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers, FL

By Christian Kouroupakis

New York Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova is “competing” for New York’s fifth starter spot, and his chances took a hit after a forgettable outing against the Twins.

After a perfect first inning, Nova got into some trouble in the second inning.

The Twins got the scoring started after Trevor Plouffe scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Eduardo Escobar. The very next batter, John Ryan Murphy, got back at his former team after he too grounded into a fielder choice, scoring Eddie Rosario.

After two, Minnesota led New York 2-0 but the Bombers wasted no time getting back into this ballgame.


With the bases loaded and no outs, Brett Gardner was walked by Ervin Santana to get the Yankees on the board. Then, Aaron Hicks flied out to center field, but it was deep enough to score Ronald Torreyes to tie the ballgame at 2 apiece.

Brian McCann broke the tie after his ground out scored Ben Gamel to put the Yankees up 3-2.

In the bottom of the fourth, with a runner on second and one out, Escobar lifted a fly ball into straightaway center field. Rosario tested Hick’s arm and would soon learn how much of a bad idea that was.

Hicks camped underneath it, snagged the fly ball, and fired a one hopper to Chase Headley to nab Rosario by a solid foot at third base. Yankee fans should expect a ton of these defensive highlights as 2016 progresses.

The very next inning, the Yankees would get back on the board after Santana balked in Gamel to extend the New York lead to 4-2.

Nova got into trouble in the next half inning, after he walked Murphy and surrendered a double to Brian Buxton. Two batters later, Joe Mauer drove both of his teammates in on an RBI single to right field.

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That ended Nova’s day, giving him a final stat line of four runs on five hits, three walks compared to only two strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched.

Bryan Mitchell, who relieved Nova, mopped up the mess quite nicely after getting Miguel Sano and Plouffe to fly out. He pitched the following two innings to perfection while striking out two.

The two teams exchanged two scoreless frames until Cesar Puello stepped to the plate in the top of the eighth. On the first pitch of his at bat, he cranked an up and away fastball into the seats in right for a go-ahead solo jack.

Tony Swarzak and Johnny Barbato combined for a scoreless eighth and ninth inning to close out the ballgame, and a New York Yankees victory.

Mitchell got the win and also made a case for himself as the Yankees’ swing man from the bullpen to rotation. It is more likely, however, he’ll have a traditional bullpen role as a middle reliever.

The Yankee offense were able to score six runs in today’s contest, despite being 1-for-9 with runners and scoring position while allowing five runners on base.

Good news other than the victory pertaining to Jacoby Ellsbury’s writs status. According to manager Joe Girardi, the X-Rays on his right wrist came back negative. The speedster is considered day-to-day and may be back in the lineup as soon as Thursday.

The Yankees are off on Monday but get right back into it on Tuesday night against the New York Mets at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Luis Severino will start for the Yankees at 6:35 with complete coverage being on the YES Network.

NEXT: Yankees Can Ill Afford Another Ellsbury/Gardner Collapse