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Thairo Estrada’s go-ahead bomb helps New York Yankees defeat the O’s (Highlights)

Thanks to the bat of Thairo Estrada, the New York Yankees were able to sneak out of Sarasota with a 4-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. 

  • New York Yankees: 4 (3-1)
  • Baltimore Orioles 1 (2-2)
  • Grapefruit League, FINAL
  • Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota, FL

In what was mostly a sleep-inducing contest, the New York Yankees were able to secure their third win of the spring with a 4-1 effort against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

The Yankees (Aaron Judge RBI ground out in the first) and O’s (Jonathan Schoop home run in the third) scored just one run each through eight innings, but Thairo Estrada fixed that in the top of the ninth.

Facing Oliver Drake, Estrada pounced on an 89 mph fastball up in the zone with Clint Frazier on third and Kellin Deglan on first for a go-ahead three-run jack to thrust the Yankees to a win.

Judge finished his day 1-for-3 with a RBI groundout and a triple (helped by the sun) and Greg Bird, despite two baserunning mistakes, went 2-for-3 with two doubles. Chad Green pitched two innings of scoreless ball while surrendering one hit in his first taste of live action this spring.

New York pitchers (Green, Evan Rutckyj, Giovanny Gallegos, Matt Marsh, Joe Mantiply and Kyle Haynes) combined for nine innings of one-run ball and only allowed four hits. Haynes capped off the win after he retired the Orioles in order in the ninth.

Judge Drops The Hammer:

We all know that Judge packs a big bat with immense power, but did you know that the 24-year-old also carries around a cannon with him, too?

On a base hit to right field by Hyun-Soo Kim in the bottom of the second, the Yankees right fielder took a little too long getting to the ball which prompted Kim to head for second base.

Judge fired a one-hopper to shortstop Jorge Mateo, who applied a quick tag, to gun down the greedy baserunner trying to snag an extra base. In 284 total games in the minor leagues, Judge collected 22 assists in right field.


Yes, Greg Bird went 2-for-3 with two doubles and his swing looks tailor-made for Yankee Stadium, but baseball is mental, too and the “Bird Man” made two baserunning mistakes that would make coaches around the world cringe.

After doubling in the first, he tried to take third on an Aaron Judge grounder to short and while Austin Romine was able to score, Bird was thrown out with the play right in front of him.

After doubling again in the sixth off Parker Birdwell, he tried to swipe third yet again on a Judge tapper back to the mound — yet another play right in front of him.

As one of Yogi Berra‘s “Yogiisms”

would recall: “Ninety percent of this game is half mental.”

What’s Next:

The Yankees will split the squad up on Tuesday. One-half will play the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field at 1:05 pm ET while the other travels to JetBlue Park at Fenway South to take on the Boston Red Sox at the same time.

Getting the starting nod against the Tigers will be New York’s ace, Masahiro Tanaka coming off a year in which he finished third in the American League in ERA (3.07). It will be his first start of a year in which the Yankees need him to anchor the questionable rotation.

Against Boston, Luis Cessa will appear in his second game of the spring in what will be his first start. He came out of the bullpen in relief during the Yankees’ first contest of the spring and pitched two perfect innings.

The game against Detroit will be telecasted on the YES network and the road game will be available on WEEI 850 or on MLB.TV. Tune into ESNY for recaps on both contests.