Rookie From Cuba Has Multi Hit Game In Win Over Yankees

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor

Gurriel Lourdes arrived in the Bronx Friday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. The Toronto Blue Jays rookie from Sancti Spiritus Cuba was in the Blue Jays /-New Hampshire Double-A lineup Thursday night and a big leaguer in the Bronx on the field opposing the Yankees in the lineup at second base.

His first Major League hit, a single to center field scored two runs and put Toronto ahead 5-4 in the fourth inning. Going 2-for-5, and the 18th Blue Jay with multiple hits in a debut was part of a Toronto 8-5 win over the Yankees.  

Marco Estrada, the right hander gave up three Yankees home runs but got the win. He has found a way to beat New York, 4-0 in his last seven starts at Yankee Stadium. The home runs allowed were the most Estrada has allowed since an April 9, 2017 start against Tampa Bay.

However, the Yankees continuing struggles on the mound, this time Sonny Gray getting the loss with 3.1 innings, was also the story as the Blue Jays evened the four-game series at a game apiece,

“Trying to do what my mother and father said, have fun,” Gurriel said through an interpreter. “Told them everyday thinking of this. This is a dream come true for me.” The Blue Jays’ fifth best prospect comes from a baseball family of two brothers and a father that played on the amateur and professional level.

It is now All In The Family, and this debut in the Bronx csme against the Yankees. Of course, the 24-year old  was asked about the first at bat and starting at second base, and at Yankee Stadium.

“My older brother was always a motivation to me,” he said, “and follow in his footsteps. I always thought of this. It is a dream come true.”  And there was the immediate adjustment of Major League pitching. So, he went up to the plate and hit a fastball.

That hit produced the go-ahead runs. Gray, who continues to struggle for the Yankees eventually left the mound and  Gurriel was left stranded after the Blue Jays 3-run fourth inning.

“Here more pitch-by-pitch,” he said about the difference of facing a Major League pitcher. “Minors are adjustments.”  The Blue Jays look at their rookie as an eventual everyday starter and made an immediate impression.

Estrada got the run support and the Blue Jays with their win, 13-6, are 6-3  on the road to start the season and outscoring opponents 47-34.

Despite Tyler Austin, Giancarlo Stanton, and  Miguel Andujar Yankees home runs, it was the Blue Jays that got the upper hand. And it is a rookie from Cuba who may have more of an impact after this rookie debut in the Bronx.

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