TAMPA, Fla. - The Yankees pushed across three runs in the eighth inning to come back and beat the Blue Jays, 4-2, on Thursday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Kyle Holder came through with a pair of RBI singles and RHP Jose Mesa struck out the side in a perfect ninth to close the game and snap a six-game losing streak by Tampa (9-9, 48-40).
Brian Keller turned in a quality start in his second game with the T-Yanks after allowing a pair of runs in the second.
Eduard Pinto was hit by an 0-2 pitch to start the frame and later advanced into scoring position on a groundout by Connor Panas. Dunedin (10-10, 44-45) grabbed the lead with a two-out RBI single by D.J. Davis. A base hit by Bo Bichette pushed Davis to third and a wild pitch by Keller scored Davis, giving the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.
Keller was strong the rest of the way, retiring 13 of the last 14 batters faced. The 23-year-old allowed two earned runs on four hits in six innings, walking one while striking out four and throwing 56 of 93 pitches for strikes in a no-decision.
Tampa cut the deficit in half against Dunedin starter Ryan Borucki in the fourth when Trey Amburgey reached on a fielder's choice and later scored on a two-out single by Holder.
Borucki also made a quality start, holding the Yankees to one earned run on seven hits in seven innings. The southpaw issued two walks, tallied seven strikeouts and threw 61 of 94 pitches for strikes.
LHP James Reeves relieved Keller in the seventh and stranded the bases loaded after yielding a double and two hit-batters. RHP Jordan Foley (W, 1-1) worked around a leadoff single and struck out a pair in a scoreless eighth.
The Yankees rallied in the eighth against RHP Philip Walby (BS, 1)(L, 0-1). Nick Solak singled, Gosuke Katoh walked and Amburgey reached on a hit-by-pitch to load the bases with no outs. Solak scored the tying run on a wild pitch by Walby. Later, Holder put Tampa ahead with a two-run single into center.
Mesa (SV, 2) retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his first save since May 16th.
Holder (2-for-3, BB, 3RBI) tied a season-high with three runs batted in. Solak (2-for-4, R) and Katoh (1-for-3, BB, R) also reached base multiple times.
The series concludes on Friday with a rubber match featuring RHP Taylor Widener (5-6, 3.79 ERA) and RHP Jordan Romano (4-4, 2.72 ERA) at 7:00 p.m. On Wing Deal Fridays, fans can get all-you-can-eat chicken wings from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. for $10. For more information, call (813) 673-3055 or visit www.tybaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.