Beltran homers as Yankees beat Blue Jays 8-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm •  Published: March 2, 2014
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DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Carlos Beltran homered for his first hit this spring, leading the New York Yankees past the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 on Sunday.

Jose Bautista hit his second homer in exhibition play for the Blue Jays.

Beltran's solo home run came in the third off reliever Todd Redmond and landed far over the right-field fence. It capped a four-run inning that included a two-run homer by Eduardo Nunez.

Beltran signed a three-year, $45 million contract with the Yankees in the offseason. He batted .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs with the St. Louis Cardinals last year.

"You want to see guys swinging the bat well, obviously, but it's really important at the end," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

"It doesn't really matter sometimes. You can be swinging the bat horrible at the end of spring training and get off to a hot start and vice versa. But it's always nice to see."

Bautista connected off Vidal Nuno in the first. Nuno struck out three and gave up two hits in two innings.

Toronto starter Esmil Rogers tossed two innings and allowed an earned run. The right-hander gave up three hits and struck out one.

Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion, Melky Cabrera and Adam Lind each doubled for the Blue Jays.

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter did not play.

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Blue Jays: Rogers threw 36 pitches and worked almost-exclusively on his changeup, which he said is progressing well.

"That's what I was working for," Rogers said. "Down in the Dominican (Republic) during winter ball, I worked on my changeup and now I feel more comfortable. I got it before. The only reason is I didn't have too much confidence to throw that. Right now, I can throw anything I want."

Rogers was 5-9 with a 4.77 ERA in 44 games with the Blue Jays last season. He is a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Yankees: Nuno said he felt as if he "got a little happy with the fastball," which led to Bautista's home run.

Nuno, who is a contender for the fifth spot in the rotation, appeared in five games with the Yankees last season and made three starts. He finished 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA.

"Overall, I'm just pleased a little bit with how the outcome came," he said. "It was just one pitch and Bautista just hit it out. Location was good and everything. (My fastball) just got overused a little bit and I wasn't using my secondary (pitches) like I was supposed to do."

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