DUNEDIN, Fla. – Eduardo Nunez and Carlos Beltran slugged back-to-back home runs off Todd Redmond in the third inning to lead the New York Yankees to an 8-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon.
In the eighth inning, catcher John Ryan Murphy launched a three-run home run to left field off Blue Jays right-hander Neil Wagner. Two other offensive stars included Adonis Garcia, who went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, and Yangervis Solarte, who went 2-for-2 with a run scored.
Left-hander Vidal Nuno started for the Yankees, allowing two hits – including a solo home run by Jose Bautista – while striking out three in two innings of work.
“Just one (bad) pitch,” Nuno said afterwards. “And Bautista just hit it out.”
Afterwards, Joe Girardi indicated that should Nuno fail to crack the rotation out of spring training, he could earn a role in the bullpen rather than be sent to Triple-A.
“I think you have to consider him, too,” Girardi said. “I think you have to. He’s left-handed. He can give you some innings. He can get left-handers and right-handers out. I think you have to look at it.”
However, Girardi did note that while he’s getting close, he hasn’t begun to really evaluate candidates for the fifth starter’s role.
“In the next start (for Nuno) you start evaluating some, and then as they get built up more,” Girardi said. “You think about a day like today, you only go through a lineup once. You don’t get to throw a ton of pitches, so maybe you throw four curveballs instead of 10 or 12.”
One pitcher not in contention for the fifth starter’s spot who had a good showing on Sunday was Bryan Mitchell. After being added to the 40-man roster during the offseason, Mitchell was very effective against the Blue Jays, striking out three hitters in two innings of work.