Yanks' Grice surprises with career day

Outfielder homers twice, plates career-high six runs for 'Riders

Cody Grice had two career homers entering play on Wednesday. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

By Robert Emrich / Special to MLB.com | June 19, 2013 8:48 PM ET

At first glance, Cody Grice wouldn't be the most obvious candidate to jump two levels. He went a long way to validating that promotion Wednesday.

The Yankees prospect homered twice and drove in six runs, both career highs, as Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre topped Rochester, 10-7.

It was a night of firsts for Grice, as his first 2013 longball was a first-inning grand slam, the first time he had done that since being drafted in the 10th round of the 2010 Draft. Four innings later, the Michigan native hit a two-run blast.

"I'm not much of a home run hitter, but I just had a good approach and got some pitches that were up," Grice said. "It's a first for me. That was my first-ever grand slam. It felt very good, especially because I was able to help the team win."

Grice opened the year at Class A Advanced Tampa, batting .196 in 21 games for the Yankees before making the jump to the International League. The main reason for the promotion was the lack of healthy bodies in the RailRiders outfield.

"When they told me I was coming up here, I was as surprised as anyone else," the 23-year-old said. "I was just happy that I got the word. I came up here to do my best to get better and help the team out."

Since joining the RailRiders, Grice is batting .258 and has eight RBIs in 10 games. He had five RBIs in 21 games for Tampa.

"It's been great," Grice said. "I've learned a ton. The guys on the team are great, they make me feel pretty welcome. It's not like I'm walking around on egg shells. It's been really good experience for me.

"I feel like I've been getting better. It's just been battling every at-bat to try and do something productive. I feel like I've been seeing a lot of pitches and feel like I've proved with every at-bat how comfortable I am."

Grice entered play Wednesday with two homers in 107 career Minor League games.

JR Murphy was 3-for-5 with a homer and two runs scored for the RailRiders.

Dellin Betances, the Yankees' No. 17 prospect, improved to 5-4 with three perfect innings of relief.

Doug Bernier was 3-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs for Rochester.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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