TAMPA, Fla. -- Didi Gregorius hit the first home run of Spring Training 2017, and Aaron Judge added a majestic drive as the Yankees denied the Phillies, 9-4, on Friday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in each team's Grapefruit League season opener.Gregorius followed up a career-high 20 homers last season
TAMPA, Fla. -- Didi Gregorius hit the first home run of Spring Training 2017, and Aaron Judge added a majestic drive as the Yankees denied the Phillies, 9-4, on Friday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in each team's Grapefruit League season opener.
Gregorius followed up a career-high 20 homers last season by going deep on the first pitch he saw from Phillies starter Alec Asher, a solo drive to right-center field. Judge hit a titanic solo shot in the fifth inning off Elniery Garcia, denting the scoreboard in left field.
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"That felt good; first game, trying to see some pitchers, see how the swing feels," Judge said. "Everything felt good today. I honestly didn't even really look at it. I just hit it, took a swing and started running."
The Yankees' pitchers held Philadelphia without a baserunner into the seventh inning, thanks in part to two effective innings by starter Bryan Mitchell, who struck out one. Mitchell was followed by perfect relief from Tyler Clippard, Tommy Layne and Luis Cessa.
"I think for the first outing, you just want to go out there and get your feet wet, get back into game speed," Mitchell said. "I was pretty happy with it. Obviously, the first game, I was pretty nervous and excited. I tried to stay within myself."
Asher worked two innings, permitting a run on two hits while striking out two. Nick Pivetta, the Phillies' No. 12 prospect, struck out three in two scoreless innings. Yankees designated hitter Matthew Holliday went 2-for-2 in his pinstriped debut, Kyle Higashioka also homered and the club's No. 1 prospect, Clint Frazier, went 1-for-2 with a two-run triple.
"I'm just glad we got at-bats out of the way," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "I'm happy we got everybody in the game, other than two catchers. That's the most important thing -- get at-bats for these guys."
Phillies Up Next: The Phillies will get another chance at the Yankees in their Grapefruit League home opener at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday in a game airing on MLB.TV. Adam Morgan will get the start at Spectrum Field. The left-hander is being stretched out, but his best chance to make the Opening Day roster is as a reliever.
Yankees Up Next: Right-hander Adam Warren will draw the start for New York on Saturday. The Yanks' travel roster is set to include top prospects Frazier and Gleyber Torres, plus Greg Bird, Dustin Fowler, Judge and Jorge Mateo.
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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.