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Espinal’s 2-run shot leads Jays over Yankees

TAMPA, Fla. – Santiago Espinal hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth as the Toronto Blue Jays won their fourth straight pre-season baseball game with a 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees in Grapefruit League action Tuesday.

Yankees reliever Ben Heller opened the inning with a leadoff walk to Luis De Los Santos before giving up Espinal’s game-winning shot.

Ty Tice gave up two one-out singles before striking out Angel Aguilar and inducing Donny Sands into a groundout to pick up the save.

Sam Gaviglio pitched a perfect eighth to get the win. Toronto starter Tanner Roark allowed one run on one hit and struck out four over four innings.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. opened the scoring for Toronto with an RBI single in the top of the first inning.

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Reese McGuire’s RBI single in the top of the fourth made it 2-0 Toronto, but the Yankees got one back — in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly from Gleyber Torres.

The Yankees tied it in the bottom of the seventh on Kyle Higashioka’s solo home run off Toronto reliever Shun Yamaguchi, who allowed one run on two hits and struck out two over three innings.

The Blue Jays next face the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday afternoon.

Toronto opens its regular season at home against the Red Sox on March 26.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2020.