Billy McKinney gets a big moment under his belt early in Spring Training by belting a go-ahead three-run home run to win the Yankees’ matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Bombers opened scoring in the fourth with clutch hitting from an unlikely source: non-roster catcher Erik Kratz. Danny Espinosa and Ronald Torreyes walked, then Kratz singled to right field to score Espinosa for a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates responded with a monstrous solo home run by Gregory Polanco in the fifth inning off right-hander Dillon Tate. That was the extent of the Pirates on the board, however, as their other six hits amounted to nothing.
The score remained knotted at one until the ninth. Jace Peterson walked, Miguel Andújar singled and then McKinney launched his first homer (and the Yankees’ first homer) of the Spring out to right field.
Jonathan Holder pitched around a 1-out double by Cole Tucker in the bottom half of the frame to secure the Yankees’ second victory of the spring.
Next up: the Philadelphia Phillies at their complex in Clearwater.