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Yankees rally with three runs in eighth to beat Blue Jays

New York Yankees left fielder Chris Young, right,

New York Yankees left fielder Chris Young, right, is greeted by New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira after he scores against the Toronto Blue Jays in the eighth inning of an MLB game at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Lost a bit during a Yankees spring filled with questions about pitchers' velocity, durability and arm strength was an element relating to another important part of the game.

This team rarely hit.

With a big assist from the Blue Jays, that changed just enough Wednesday night.

Trailing 3-1 going into the eighth inning, the Yankees rallied for three runs against the Toronto bullpen to post a 4-3 victory on a frigid, raw night at the Stadium attended by an announced crowd of 31,020.

Pinch hitter Chris Young led off the inning against lefty Aaron Loup by sending a pop down the rightfield line. Second baseman Devon Travis and rightfielder Jose Bautista failed to catch it and Young had a double. Jacoby Ellsbury singled to center and Brett Gardner got hit with a pitch on his right arm to load the bases.

In came lefty Brett Cecil, who uncorked a wild pitch with Carlos Beltran at the plate to make it 3-2. Beltran struck out and Mark Teixeira was intentionally walked, loading the bases for Brian McCann. Cecil then plunked the catcher to bring in Ellsbury and Chase Headley followed with a single off Cecil to make it 4-3.

Lefty Andrew Miller collected his second career save, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth in his Yankees debut.

The Yankees, who had just four hits through seven innings, flummoxed much of that time by R.A. Dickey's knuckleball, finished with seven hits, two each from Ellsbury and Headley.

They got a solid start from righthander Michael Pineda, who allowed two runs, six hits and one walk with six strikeouts in six innings.

Dellin Betances was credited with the win despite giving up an unearned run in the eighth.

The Blue Jays struck first in the third.

Kevin Pillar collected Toronto's first hit with an infield single to third and Justin Smoak followed with a laser off the wall in right for a double, putting runners at second and third.

Travis ripped a grounder up the middle that shortstop Didi Gregorius made a diving stop on, but he threw high, the infield single allowing Pillar to score to make it 1-0. But Pineda stopped it there, striking out Russell Martin and Bautista with runners at the corners to end the inning.

The Blue Jays tacked on in the fourth. After Smoak led off with a groundout, Travis singled to right, his third hit in two games. Reyes followed with a bouncer to first that flicked off Teixeira's glove and headed toward second where Stephen Drew corralled it. Drew turned and fired toward third trying to get Travis, his throw wide of the base, the error allowing Reyes to take second. Russell Martin's sacrifice fly scored Travis to put Toronto ahead 2-0.

The Yankees rallied in the sixth. Ellsbury reached base for the third time against Dickey, this time slapping a single to left, and stole second. Gardner got ahead 3-and-0 before grounding into a 3-1 out -- Smoak made a terrific stop on a hard smash -- that moved Ellsbury to third. Beltran, who like Teixeira had his difficulties at the plate throughout the spring, got Ellsbury home by lining one to center, the sacrifice fly making it 2-1.

Jose Bautista worked a one-out walk and Betances fell behind Edwin Encarnacion 3-and-1 before the slugging first baseman ripped a single to left to put runners at the corners. With Josh Donaldson at the plate, McCann attempted a snap-throw to first to get Encarnacion, but his throw skipped in front of Teixeira and down the first-base line, allowing Bautista to score for a 3-1 Toronto lead.


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