Curtis Granderson's homer propels Yankees to season-opening series win in Boston

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In the 10th inning of a 1-1 game on Wednesday night, Curtis Granderson did something no other major leaguer has ever done before.
He hit his second career homer off Jonathan Papelbon.
The shot to right on a 94-mph fastball provided the Yankees with a 2-1 lead in a game they ended up winning 3-1, giving them two out of three in Fenway to start the year.
It was the 22nd homer allowed by Papelbon in 300 innings as a major leaguer. Granderson previously took him deep last Aug. 11, but that was a meaningless solo shot in what ended up being a 7-5 win over the Tigers. This one will draw a bit more attention.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.