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Cole Figueroa steals Masahiro Tanaka's spotlight in Yankees minors

Yankees infielder Cole Figueroa at George Steinbrenner Field

Yankees infielder Cole Figueroa at George Steinbrenner Field during spring training in Tampa Fla., on Feb. 28, 2015. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Masahiro Tanaka, making his second rehab start, delivered the headlines, but Cole Figueroa delivered the power.

Batting ninth, the second baseman was 5-for-5 with five RBIs, a double and a home run in Yankees' Triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 9-6 win over Pawtucket on Wednesday.

All of Figueroa's hits came with two outs.

Figueroa's bases-loaded double in the second inning drove in three runs. He singled in the third, but Jonathan Galvez was tagged out at home. Figueroa singled in the sixth but was stranded when centerfielder Mason Williams struck out swinging. A solo home run in the eighth was Figueroa's fourth RBI of the day, and his line drive single to center in the ninth scored catcher Austin Romine for the fifth RBI.

Figueroa, 27, originally was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 draft by San Diego. A .288 career hitter in the minors, Figueroa was acquired by the Rays in 2010 in the trade that sent shortstop Jason Bartlett to the Padres. He made his MLB debut in 2014, batting .233 with a .286 on-base percentage and three extra-base hits in 43 at-bats and then signed with the Yankees as a minor league free agent this offseason.

He came into Wednesday batting .233 with a .311 OBP and .604 on-base plus slugging percentage. Figueroa ended the day hitting .261 with a .333 OBP and .681 OPS.

Figueroa wasn't the only offensive star for the RailRiders (25-23, 2nd place in International League North, 1.5 games back). Leftfielder Ben Gamel was 3-for-5 with a triple and Romine went 4-for-5.

Elsewhere in the minors


(24-22, T-3rd in Eastern League Eastern, 5.5 games back)

Designated hitter Aaron Judge hit his seventh home run of the season, a two-out solo shot, but the Thunder fell to Akron, 7-2, in Game 1 of a scheduled doubleheader. Centerfielder Jake Cave was 2-for-3 with a double.

Game 2, the makeup of a game originally scheduled for April 13, was suspended in the third inning by rain with Trenton leading, 1-0. It's scheduled to continue on Thursday.


(T-2nd in Florida State League North, 5.5 games back)

Designated hitter Angelo Gumbs singled with one out in the third for Tampa's lone hit as the Yankees fell to Palm Beach, 4-1.

The only other baserunners of the game: First baseman Mike Ford walked to lead off the second inning; Second baseman Abiatal Avelino reached on a fielder's choice and shortstop Tyler Wade reached on an error during a force attempt in the third. Those extra baserunners in the third inning led to Tampa's only run, as Gumbs scored on third baseman Miguel Andujar's one-out groundout. Palm Beach retired the last 20 Yankees hitters in order.


(23-23, 2nd place in South Atlantic League Southern, 4 games back)

Shortstop Jorge Mateo was 3-for-5 with two triples and centerfielder Dustin Fowler went 2-for-5, but the RiverDogs lost to Rome, 3-2.


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