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Yankees' Jagielo homers, exits with injury

First-round pick has tightness in his side, to be evaluated Wednesday
May 20, 2014

One swing and it looked like Eric Jagielo's night might be done. But the 2013 first-round pick had one more hack left and it earned him a share of the Florida State League home run lead with an old friend.

One pitch after a visit from the team trainer, the Yankees' No. 5 prospect jacked a three-run homer to right field off Jupiter's Jake Esch. He later exited Tampa's 4-3 loss with tightness in his right side and will be reevaluated on Wednesday.

"We'll go day-by-day from there," Jagielo said. "Tomorrow, we'll reevaluate and see how I feel. It was in my right side. Not my oblique, but in the back rib area."

Jagielo stepped to the plate in the third inning with two outs and runners at first and second. He swung and missed at a fastball to fall behind, 0-2, and felt some tightness in his right side. After consulting with Yankees trainer Michael Becker, Jagielo stepped back in.

On the next pitch, he clubbed a fastball over the right-field fence for a three-run homer.

"[Esch] made a couple good pitches before that," Jagielo said. "I was fortunate to get a fastball I could handle, put a good swing on it and it went out."

Becker and the Yankees' coaches reevaluated Jagielo when he returned to the dugout and determined it be best to end his night there. Outfielder Claudio Custodio took his spot in the lineup and Jose Toussen moved from left field to third base.

Jagielo finished 2-for-2 with the homer, a double and three RBIs.

The longball was his 10th of the season, tying him with former teammate Peter O'Brien for the Florida State League lead -- O'Brien was promoted to Double-A about two weeks ago.

"Me and Pete were pretty close, would talk every day," Jagielo said. "We talked about hitting and what kind of things he's done throughout his career that have helped him. The things he looks for, that kind of stuff."

That two Tampa Yankees sit atop the FSL leaderboard is especially impressive since George M. Steinbrenner Field is a notorious pitchers' park --'s Ashley Marshall reported it was the second-most homer-resistant park in the league last season.

"The park is modeled after Yankee Statdium, so obviously the right side is a little friendlier than the left side," Jagielo said. "I heard the same thing coming into the league, that there aren't too many hitters' parks. There hasn't been many days where the wind was blowing straight out."

Tempting as it might be, Jagielo said he's resisted the urge to go pull-happy with the short porch in right.

"I don't really think it goes through my head," the University of Notre Dame product said. "I'm not trying to yank or pull the ball, just get a good pitch to drive and make good contact."

Yankees' No. 16 prospect Rafael De Paula allowed three runs -- one earned -- on five hits over five innings. The 23-year-old right-hander struck out six and walked one, reducing his ERA to 2.90 in a no-decision.

Jake Seiner is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Seiner.