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DUNEDIN, Fla. — Whit Merrifield hit a two-run homer and added an RBI single as the Toronto Blue Jays topped the New York Yankees 5-2 in spring training action Saturday.

The Yankees took an early 2-0 lead thanks to RBIs from Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton.

However, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. kick-started the Blue Jays with a solo shot in the bottom of the first inning to cut the deficit in half.

Merrifield put Toronto ahead 3-2 with his homer in the third inning. In the fourth, Danny Jansen drove Matt Chapman home with a double before Merrfield struck again shortly after, scoring Cavan Biggio.

Bowden Francis started on the mound for the Blue Jays. He struck out five batters, while giving up one walk, three hits and two runs in three innings of action.

Toronto (13-10) next plays the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

Earlier Saturday, the Blue Jays announced they have assigned pitchers Adrian Hernandez and Casey Lawrence, as well as infielder Rainer Nunez to minor league spring training. They will remain eligible to play in spring training games as needed.

Fifty-three players (30 pitchers, six catchers, 11 infielders, and six outfielders) remain in major league camp for Toronto.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2023.

The Canadian Press