NEW YORK (AP) — Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made an impressive major league debut with two hits and three RBIs as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees 8-5 Friday night.
Teoscar Hernandez homered and drove in three runs and Yangervis Solarte also connected for the Blue Jays, who have won nine of their last 11 games.
Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton broke a 50 at-bat homerless slump with his fourth shot of the season, a drive that put New York ahead 4-2 in the third.
Gurriel was called up from Double-A New Hampshire, where the second baseman was batting .347. The 24-year-old brother of Houston first Yuli Gurriel hit a two-run single in the fourth that gave Toronto a 5-4 lead, then had an RBI single in the fifth that put the Blue Jays ahead to stay at 6-5.
Gurriel signed a seven-year, $22 million deal in November 2016 after defecting the previous February from the Cuban team that was participating in Caribbean World Series in the Dominican Republic.
Toronto starter Marco Estrada (2-1) weaved in and out of trouble over five innings. He was charged with five runs and seven hits, three of them home runs.
Seung Hwan Oh, Danny Barnes and Ryan Tepera each followed with a scoreless inning. Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his sixth save in as many chances.
The Blue Jays chased Sonny Gray (1-2) by sending nine batters to the plate in the fourth inning. Gray allowed five hits and five runs in 3 1/3 innings.
After Kendry Morales’ ground-rule double cut the deficit 4-3, Gurriel Jr. picked up his first major league hit, a single past diving shortstop Didi Gregorius.
A solo homer by rookie Miguel Andujar made it 5-all in the home half of the fourth.
Gurriel’s go-ahead hit came against Domingo German.
Tyler Austin hit a two-run in the first off Estrada.
Blue Jays: 1B/DH Morales was activated from the 10-day disabled list after missing his last seven games due to a right hamstring strain. LHP Tim Mayza and IF Gift Ngoepe were optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.
BEST OF THE BUNCH?
Yuli Gurriel did pretty well in his first full season in the majors last year, hitting .299 with 18 homers and 75 RBIs. Along the way he also picked up a World Series ring. His older brother, Yuniesky, wasn’t that bad, either, during his 16-year run in the Cuban National Series. Their dad, Lourdes Sr., starred for 15 years on the Cuban National Team, winning a gold medal, and now manages the national squad.
But in the long run, the Astros first baseman said he believes Lourdes Jr. will turn out to be a better product at the big league level.
“I don’t want to put any pressure on him, but he hits better than me,” Yuli Gurriel said through a translator before Houston took the field against the White Sox in Chicago on Friday night. “Runs better than me and is a better defensive player than me.”
Lourdes Jr. impressed the Blue Jays during his first 12 games of the minor league season, hitting 17 for 49 and was third in the league in RBIs (11) and hits.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons penciled Lourdes Jr. as his second baseman in the nine-hole, but could also use him at shortstop.
“I think the kid’s got a chance to be a really, really good hitter,” Gibbons said. “And breaking in @ Yankee Stadium, the Mecca, he and his brother both being in the big leagues, yeah that’s pretty cool.”
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
The Yankees, who have made an AL-worst 18 errors, were put through a full workout prior to batting practice. They’ve made six fielding miscues the last five games.
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (0-1, 7.98) will try for his first win of the season when the series resumes Saturday afternoon. Stroman started against New York on April 1 and allowed four runs and struck out eight in five innings but earned a no-decision in Toronto’s win.
Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 4.70) is unbeaten in his last eight starts and has lost once in his previous 12 starts dating back to Aug. 5, 2017. He is 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA in that stretch.
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