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Grichuk belts first homer for Blue Jays

MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays were hoping to see increased power out of right fielder Randal Grichuk this season. In the second game of the regular season, they got it.

Grichuk hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning of Friday night's 4-2 loss to the Yankees. It was his first homer as a member of the Blue Jays after finishing last season with 22 in St. Louis.

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TORONTO -- The Blue Jays were hoping to see increased power out of right fielder Randal Grichuk this season. In the second game of the regular season, they got it.

Grichuk hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning of Friday night's 4-2 loss to the Yankees. It was his first homer as a member of the Blue Jays after finishing last season with 22 in St. Louis.

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Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, Grichuk was one of the only bright spots on offense, as Toronto was held to five hits by Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees' bullpen. Toronto has three runs, seven hits and 24 strikeouts over its first two games of the season.

"I feel like if you don't get a hit in your first few at-bats [of the season], it feels like it's double or triple the at-bats," Grichuk said. "It was good to get the first one out of the way, and hopefully I'll continue to gain success from here."

The 26-year-old Grichuk sent the first pitch he saw from Tanaka over the wall in left-center to tie the score at 1. According to Statcast™, the ball was projected to travel 415 feet and left his bat at 105 mph, with a launch angle of 23 degrees.

Grichuk hit 46 home runs over the previous two seasons, but the Blue Jays would like to see that annual average rise even higher in 2018. Grichuk has never received more than 446 at-bats in a season, but that number should be higher this season, if he is healthy as Toronto's everyday right fielder.

The first week in Toronto also provided Grichuk with a walk down memory lane. The first home run of his career was hit at Rogers Centre in a 5-0 victory over the Blue Jays. After recording his first of the season on Friday, he was one swing away from tying the score in the ninth but instead struck out against Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman.

"The ball flies pretty well here," Grichuk said. "It's a good hitter's park. You can see the ball well. I definitely see it well, and I enjoy hitting here. Hopefully that continues."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Randal Grichuk