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Updated: February 24, 2017
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2017 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)

Didi Gregorius homers in first Spring Training at bat

TAMPA / FORT MYERS / LAKELAND, Florida / SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (USA) - Didi Gregorius, who turned 27 last week, shows his power early, as the Amsterdam-born short stop hit a homerun in his first at bat of the first Spring Training-game on Friday (February 24). The homerun gave the New York Yankees the lead against Philadelphia Phillies. The Yankees won 9-4.

For Gregorius, this is the seventh year that he participates in Spring Training with a Major League-club. The last time he hit a Spring Training-homerun was in 2013. Back then, he played for Arizona Diamondbacks and hit two homeruns in Spring Training.

Last year, his second season with New York, Gregorius hit 20 homeruns in 153 games. He led the Yankees with 54 extra-basehits, which were the most by a Yankees short stop since Derek Jeter had 55 in 2007.

At Scottsdale, San Francisco Giants won its first game with a 6-4 score against the visiting Cincinnati Reds. Trailing 4-3, the Giants won on a walk-off, 3-run homerun. Aruba-born catcher Shawn Zarraga entered the game in the sixth inning for the Reds.

Playing at home in Fort Myers, Boston Red Sox played its second Spring Training-game and lost 3-2 to New York Mets. Boston-short stop Xander Bogaerts, who was the first player from the Netherlands to get into Spring Training-action on Thursday, didn't play today.

At Lakeland, Baltimore Orioles played against the home-playing Detroit Tigers and won 2-0. Curaçao-born second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who last season played in all 162 regular season-games, didn't play today.

(February 24)

Related Article:
Xander Bogaerts first Dutch player in Spring Training-action. (February 23)

New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies
At George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, the New York Yankees opened their Grapefruit League-season with a 9-4 win against Philadelphia Phillies.

Yankee-starter Bryan Mitchell retired the side in the top of the first inning. Moments later, his team led 1-0. With one out, Didi Gregorius faced Phillie-starter Alec Asher and homered into rightfield to give the Yankees and early lead. Thanks to the homerun, Mitchell became the winning pitcher. The righthander also retired the side in the second inning and threw the first two innings for the Yankees, who took more distance from the fifth inning on.

...Didi Gregorius homered in his first... bat of Spring Training...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the bottom of the third inning, Gregorius lined out to short stop J.P. Crawford in his second at bat.

In the fifth, New York doubled its lead when Aaron Judge homered with one out. Hereafter, Brett Gardner walked, but Gregorius then popped out in his third at bat in the game.

Gregorius was replaced in the top of the sixth by Gleyber Torres. By the way, all players were replaced in this inning, except the pitcher.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees added two runs. With a triple, Miguel Andujar batted in a runner, then scored himself on a following throwing error to make it 4-0.

In the top of the seventh, Scott Kingery led off for the Phillies and became the first player to reach base, thanks to a throwing error by Torres. Hereafter, Cameron Perkins registered the first basehit for Philadelphia, followed by a single from Daniel Nava, which led to a run. Another error later in the at bat accounted for the second run and made it a 4-2 score.

The Yankees got both runs back in its seventh inning. With one out, Dustin Fowler tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gleyber Torres, then Kyle Higashioka homered.

The Yankees added three more runs in the eighth. With one out, Ruben Tejada singled, Miguel Andujar doubled, Clint Frazier tripled (2 runs) and Rob Refsnyder singled (one run).

Philadelphia scored one more run in the top of the ninth when Cameron Perkins hit an one-out homerun.

San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds
At Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, San Francisco Giants opened its Spring Training-season in the Cactus League at home against Cincinnati Reds. The Giants, with Netherlands Kingdom Team-Manager Hensley Meulens as its Hitting Coach, trailed 4-3, but won 6-4, thanks to a walk-off homerun by Chris Marrero.

Cincinnati opened the score with two runs in the top of the first inning off of starter Madison Bumgarner. With one out, Arismendy Alcantara doubled and with two outs, Adam Duvall walked. The bases then got loaded when Jesse Winker was hit by a pitch. Hereafter, Patrick Kivlehan delivered a 2-run single.

In the bottom of the first inning, San Francisco scored its first run. With one out, Joe Panik singled and scored on a 2-out double by Hunter Pence.

...Shawn Zarraga was a pinch-hitter...
...for the Reds...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Cincinnati added another run in the second inning. Tony Renda led off with a triple and scored on an one-out single by José Peraza.

In the fifth, the Giants came back to 3-2. With runners on first and second base and no outs, a run was scored on a single by Chris Marrero, but later stranded runners on first and third base.

In the top of the sixth inning, with one out, Shawn Zarraga entered the game as pinch-hitter for designated hiter Jesse Winker. Zarraga walked, but was then forced out on a following grounder by Sebastian Elizalde. Hereafter, Zarraga became the new DH for the Reds, the team he joined in November. In the same inning, all defensive positions also were taken by new players.

Cincinnati increased the lead to 4-2 in the seventh on an one-out single by Aristides Aquino.

In the eighth inning, Zarraga was the lead-off hitter for Cincinnati, but grounded out.

San Francisco narrowed the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth when Wynton Bernard doubled with one out and scored on a 2-out double by Steven Duggar.

In the bottom of the ninth, Kevin Shackelford took over the pitching for the Reds. He walked lead-off hitter Orlando Calixte, then gave up a single to Christian Arroyo. Hereafter, Chris Marrero decided the game with a walk-off, 3-run homerun.

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