TORONTO -- Garrett Cooper was shagging fly balls during the second round of batting practice Wednesday afternoon when he spotted Joe Girardi running across Rogers Centre's artificial turf, carrying an important message.With Clint Frazier experiencing tightness in his left oblique, Cooper's name had been scribbled into the lineup. He made
TORONTO -- Garrett Cooper was shagging fly balls during the second round of batting practice Wednesday afternoon when he spotted Joe Girardi running across Rogers Centre's artificial turf, carrying an important message.
With Clint Frazier experiencing tightness in his left oblique, Cooper's name had been scribbled into the lineup. He made the most of that opportunity in an 11-5 victory over the Blue Jays, becoming the first Yankees rookie first baseman since Joe Collins in 1950 to collect four hits in a game.
• C. Frazier (oblique) late scratch, will have MRI
"I just take each day, if I'm playing or not playing, I take it the same way," Cooper said. "Getting that late [call] that I was getting in the game just gave me an opportunity to get some hits today and help the team win."
The 26-year-old Cooper singled in his first two at-bats against Toronto right-hander Nick Tepesch, whose most recent outing had come against Cooper's Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre teammates a week ago in Moosic, Pa., working for Triple-A Buffalo.
"You don't have a lot of time to think about the pitcher, who we just saw in Triple-A -- him and [reliever Taylor Cole]," Cooper said. "It was nice knowing what he was going to throw and seeing how he pitched down there, having a plan to know what he's going to do up here."
Cooper was the first batter Cole faced in his big league career, and he rudely greeted the newcomer with a sharp eighth-inning double to left field. In the ninth, Cooper smacked a two-run single up the middle that chased home Gary Sanchez and Todd Frazier to give New York a six-run cushion.
"He was big for us tonight," Girardi said. "A lot of big hits for us tonight, especially those last couple that he had to break the game open for us and really give us some breathing room."
The Nos. 6 through 9 hitters in New York's lineup -- Frazier, Jacoby Ellsbury, Cooper and Ronald Torreyes -- combined to go 10-for-19 with five runs scored, three doubles, a homer and nine RBIs.
"Big night," Girardi said. "Todd Frazier had a big night. Coop, Torreyes. Ellsbury had some big hits, big RBIs. Just an outstanding night for them. When our offense was really going good, that's what we were doing. We were getting production from everyone. That's good to see."
The 4-for-5 performance marked Cooper's third multi-hit effort in just 10 big league games since being acquired from the Brewers on July 13 in exchange for left-hander Tyler Webb, raising his batting average from .286 to .364 (12-for-33).
"Ever since getting that first hit out of the way, I've felt like I was back down in Triple-A," Cooper said. "That's the biggest thing in coming up here, is just trying not to do too much in each at-bat."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.