Results tagged ‘ Austin Hyatt ’

Cano Sends One In Orbit As Yankees Blast Astros

GAME 16

YANKEES 6, ASTROS 3

Major-league pitchers like to look at the batting averages of the hitters they will face in an upcoming game and Astros pitcher Bud Norris must have relished seeing that Robinson Cano was batting .190 as of Saturday.

Unfortunately for Norris, Cano connected on an 0-2 pitch with two out in the second inning and launched a tape-measure three-run home run over the picnic pavilion in right-field to help New York to defeat Houston in a Grapefruit League game at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The Yankees led 2-0 beginning the second inning and Norris retired the first two batters before he walked Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson. Cano then made him pay for his wildness with a mammoth blast that stretched the Yankees’ lead to 5-0.

Hiroki Kuroda (1-1), making his third start of the spring, turned his most impressive performance to date, giving up just one run on three hits, no walks and he struck out two over his four innings of work. Right-hander Dellin Betances worked a scoreless ninth inning to earn a save.

Norris (1-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs on five hits and four walks in just three innings of work.

Granderson stroked an RBI double to score Gardner with the game’s first run and Andruw Jones added a two-RBI single in the same frame to score Granderson. The Yankees final run came on a solo home run off the bat of Bill Hall in the seventh inning.

With the victory the Yankees evened their spring record at 8-8, The Astros, meanwhile, fell to 7-7.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • It can’t be good news to pitchers that Cano is getting hot. In his last two games, Cano is 2-for-6 with a double and home run and four RBIs. He has raised his spring average over the Mendoza Line at .208.
  • Kuroda looked extremely sharp in his four innings of work. Despite the fact he gave up a pair of doubles to J.D. Martinez and Chris Johnson in the fourth, Kuroda showed excellent command of all of his pitches. Kuroda threw 59 pitches and 39 were strikes (66 percent).
  • Although a lot of the Yankees have been struggling in the first two weeks of spring games, Granderson is not among that group. He walked and doubled, scored two runs and drove in another on Saturday. He is hitting a sizzling .333 on the spring and it looks like he is ready to start 2012 like he left off in his career year in 2011.
  • Mariano Rivera continues to amaze at age 42. He hit the first batter he faced but he still needed just eight pitches to retire the side in the fifth inning. Rivera struck out Brett Wallace on three pitches and then retired Marwin Gonzalez on a double-play grounder. Rivera has not given up an earned run in spring training since the spring of 2008. Amazing!

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Raul Ibanez did draw a walk in the first inning but finished the day 0-for-2 and his spring average has now dipped to a polar-capped .077. Ibanez seems to be just missing good pitches in the strike zone and a bit slow on fastballs. There is still time for him to recover. But Ibanez seems anxious at the plate.
  • What a difference a spring makes. Last season Jorge Vazquez tore the cover off the ball and he hit .412. He followed up on that with 32 home runs and 93 RBIs in only 118 games at Triple- A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. However, Vazquez can’t buy a hit this spring and is hitting an anemic .059.
  • Boone Logan struggled for the first time this spring. He gave up two runs on three hits in the eighth inning. Logan had looked sharp in his previous four outings.

BOMBER BANTER

Although most all of the Yankees seem to be willing to welcome back Andy Pettitte with open arms, it does not appear right-hander Freddy Garcia is as thrilled as they are. Garcia, who was signed to a one-year contract before the Yankees traded for Michael Pineda and signed Kuroda as a free agent, is trying to win a job in the rotation and now finds Pettitte on his way back also. When asked if the Pettitte signing was good for the team, Garcia said “I don’t know, man. Ask the people. I don’t know. I guess.”  . . .  Eduardo Nunez (bruised right hand) retunred to the starting lineup and was 1-for 2 in his four innings of work against the Astros on Saturday.  Nunez was struck on the right hand by a pitch from Austin Hyatt of the Phillies on March 5.  . . .  Nick Swisher (left groin), Russell Martin (left groin) and Derek Jeter (left calf) all were held of action on Saturday but they could return to action on Tuesday.

ON DECK

The Yankees will travel to Sarasota, FL., on Sunday night for a contest against a split squad of the Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees’ scheduled starter will be right-hander Ivan Nova, who will be making his fourth start of the spring. Nova is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA but pitched four scoreless innings against the Red Sox last Tuesday.

The Orioles are scheduled to start right-hander Alfredo Simon, who will be making his second spring start. He has not given up a run in five innings of work.

Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network.

 

Yanks’ 9th-Inning Miscues Hand Victory To Bosox

This transmission was delayed by technical difficulties

GAME 12

RED SOX 1, YANKEES 0

TAMPA - The first salvo in the 2012 Red Sox-Yankees rivalry was all it was expected to be and in the end it was just a pair of mistakes on one play that decided the winner on Tuesday.

Outfielder Zoilo Almonte misplayed Pedro Ciriaco’s ninth-inning single into a two-base error and Ciriaco was able to slide home safely on David Adams’ throwing error as Boston nipped New York in a nationally televised exhibition game from George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Vicente Padilla (1-0) pitched three hitless innings and fanned four batters to get credit for the victory. David Phelps (0-1), who pitched 2 2/3 innings of brilliant relief, was tagged with the hard-luck loss. Junichi Tazawa struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to pick up a save.

Both starting pitchers, Ivan Nova of the Yankees and Felix Dubront of the Red Sox, pitched four scoreless innings to set the tone for the game. Nova gave up two hits, walked none and struck out three. Dubront gave up two hits, walked one and fanned three in his stint.

With the loss, the Yankees’ spring record dropped to 5-7. The Red Sox are 7-2.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Nova entered the contest with an 11.57 ERA in his first two starts so this was a much-needed improvement. Nova was only touched by a two-out double by Jacoby Ellsbury in the first inning and a leadoff infield roller that hit the third-base bag by Dustin Pedroia. Nova showed much better command of his fastball and his secondary pitches were working for him as well. Though Nova won 16 games last season and he seems to a lock to be one of the Yankees’ five starters, manager Joe Girardi has not named Nova a starter because he wants him to earn the role by pitching well in spring training.
  • Mariano Rivera made his second appearance of the spring in the fifth inning and after receiving another huge standing ovation he went about breaking bats. Rivera worked around a two-out error and stolen base to throw a scoreless inning. He broke three bats in the process and fanned Alex Hannan to complete the frame in 13 pitches (nine of them were strikes).
  • Phelps is one of five young pitchers who likely will open the season at Triple A but the former Notre Dame star is making a good impression with the coaching staff. Phelps pitched a 1-2-3 seventh and struck out two batters. In the eighth he worked around a leadoff single and a stolen base by Darnell McDonald to retire the next three batters in order. Though he gave up the single to Ciriaco, it was played into a three-base error by two misplays. After that he fanned the next two batters. Phelps is 25 and he will be pitching his first full season at Triple A. He bears watching because he could pitching in the Bronx soon.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • The Yankees are simply not hitting consistently well this spring. They managed only four hits in the game and it is not because of Dubront. They forced the left-hander to throw 75 pitches in four innings and just could not mount any offense. They only managed three hits the evening before against the lowly Houston Astros. The Yankees are one-third of the way through their spring schedule and it is time they start hitting the ball with authority. There is not only a lack of hits. There also is a lack of power, too. It is a big concern.
  • One of the major culprits in the hitting drought has been newly signed designated hitter and outfielder Raul Ibanez. Ibanez, 39, is a career .280 hitter but is coming off a season in which he hit just .245. He was allowed to become a free agent by the Phillies when the Yankees signed him on Feb, 21. He was 0-for-3 on Tuesday and is now hitting .095. Ibanez is unconcerned about his slow start but the question is when does he become concerned?
  • It is kind of odd that Girardi chose not to play Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher and yet he is playing all the team’s starters with the exception of Russell Martin and subbing Eric Chavez for Alex Rodriguez at third base with Rodriguez acting as the DH in a game against Toronto on Wednesday. In the days of George Steinbrenner this would be unacceptable. It makes me curious also.
  • The Red Sox pitchers used the 7.8 and 9 hitters to attack aggressively all night and it paid off for them. Bill Hall, Jason Nix and Doug Bernier each had two at-bats and they combined to go 0-for-6 and fanned five times. That is the reason i pointed out the previous item about not playing four starters.

BOMBER BANTER

The Yankees originally had Eduardo Nunez in the strating lineup against the Red Sox but he had to be scratched again because of recurring pain in his right hand. Nunez was struck on his right hand on March 5 on a pitch from the Phillies’ Austin Hyatt and he been unable to shake the pain despite the fact X-rays on the hand show no broken bones. The Yankees say the bruise is deep and it will take time to heal. Nunez will not attempt to hit again until Saturday.  . . .  Girardi had high praise for three of his left-handed reliever candidates: Clay Rapada (0.00 ERA), Cesar Cabral (3.38 ERA) and Juan Cedeno (10.12 ERA). One of them could make the bullpen depending how they pitch the rest of the spring.

 

Astros Score Two Runs Late To Steal Past Yankees

GAME 11

ASTROS 4, YANKEES 2

TAMPA - George Springer doubled in a run to break a 2-2 tie in the ninth inning and later stole third and scored himself as Houston edged New York in a Grapefruit League contest on Monday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Astros reliever Fernando Rodriguez (1-0) worked his way around two walks to pitch a scoreless eighth inning to get credit for the victory. Yankees left-hander Michael O’Connor took the loss. Despite giving up a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jorge De Leon got credit for his first save of the spring.

The Astros limited the Yankees to only five hits while they collected 12 of their own on offense.

The Yankees’ spring record drops to 5-6 and the Astros are 5-4.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • In his second spring outing Hiroki Kuroda did manage to blank the Astros in his three innings of work, however, even he admitted he did not have his best stuff. Kuroda gave up two hits, walked two batters and struck out two in a 41-pitch outing (23 were strikes).
  • With the Astros up 1-0 in the fifth, Dewayne Wise stroked a one-out single, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Brandon Laird groundout. Wise is trying to make the team as a non-roster outfielder and he is hitting .364 in the early going.
  • Nick Swisher tied the game in the sixth inning with a booming one-out triple off wall in the right-center to score pinch-runner Melky Mesa. It was only the Yankees’ third of the game. Swisher is hitting .294 so far this spring and already looks more comfortable hitting from the left side. He hit .232 against right-handers in 2011.
  • Dellin Betances, the team’s No. 2 prospect, pitched an impressive two scoreless innings against the Astros. He gave up a scratch single and fanned two batters in a 32-pitch outing (22 were strikes). Betances showed much better command than he did in his previous two outings and he has a spotless 0.00 ERA this spring.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Allowing the Astros to outhit you 12-5 is not something to brag about. Former Red Sox right-hander Kyle Weiland made hsi first start for the Astros and he held the Yankees hitless and scoreless for four innings. Weiland walked one batter and hit another but was very much in command. Eric Chavez flew out twice and they were the only two balls Weiland allowed to reach the outfield.
  • Speaking of Chavez, he committed a pair of mistakes that cost the Yankees dearly. In the fourth inning, Fernando Martinez lofted a foul popup near the first-base line. Chavez broke late and the ball dropped between he and catcher Francisco Cervelli. Martinez then laced a one-out double and later scored. In the fifth inning, Jordan Schafer attempted two bunts before he laid down a bunt down the first-base line. Chavez fielded the ball cleanly but bobbled it as he shuffled a toss to pitcher Cesar Cabaral that was too late to get Schafer.
  • O’Connor’s bid to become the second lefty in the bullpen took a huge hit when he gave up two runs in the ninth inning. O’Connor’s spring ERA is a gawdy but even 15.00. He allowed a single, a double and two stolen bases in the nightmarish ninth and he definitely deserved to take the loss.

BOMBER BANTER

Yankees All-Star reliever David Robertson had the walking boot removed from his right foot and he discarded his crutches. Robertson, who suffered a bone bruise landing hard on a step at his home last Wednesday, insists he thinks he will be ready for Opening Day after he played catch for about five minutes on Monday.  . . .  Non-roster right-hander Dan Burawa suffered a tear in his ribcage and he will be sidelined for at least the remainder of spring training. Burawa, 23, pitched three scoreless innings this spring. The former 10th round draft choice in 2010 will likely begin the season in Double-A Trenton.  . . .  The Yankees hope to have backup infielder Eduardo Nunez back in the lineup on Tuesday if he can get through batting practice without feeling pain in his right hand. Nunez has been sidelined for eight days after being hit in the hand on a pitch from Phillies right-hander Austin Hyatt.

ON DECK

There is no need to hype Tuesday night’s contest at George M. Steinbrenner Field. It will be Round 1 of the Yankees’ 2012  rivalry with the Boston Red Sox.

The Yankees will open the game with right-hander Ivan Nova on the mound. Nova will be making his third appearance and he hopes the control issues that have plagued his first two starts are behind him.

The Red Sox will counter with left-hander Felix Doubront, who is bidding for the fifth spot in the rotation. Another candidate, Vicente Padilla, is also scheduled to pitch. Mike Aviles, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are making the trip from Fort Myres, FL.

Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.

 

Yankees Virtually Flawless In Blanking Phillies

GAME 9

YANKEES (SS) 3, PHILLIES (SS) 0

TAMPA - Every team looks for what could be called that “Goldilocks Game,” meaning they get just the right amount of hitting and pitching. The Yankees had one of those games on Sunday.

Chris Dickerson stroked a two-out, bases-loaded single to drive in two runs in the fourth inning and CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera were among the seven pitchers who held the Phillies scoreless on just three hits as New York left Philadelphia with some mighty cold porridge in a Grapefruit League contest at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

In his second appearance of the spring Sabathia gave up two hits and a walk and fanned two batters in his thee innings of work. He threw 28 of 39 pitches for strikes and looked vastly improved from his first outing.

Meanwhile, the strains of “Enter Sandman” blared throughout the stadium in the fourth inning as Rivera trotted in to a raucous standing ovation from most of the 10,810 fans in attendance, who are unsure of these one-inning tune-ups from the greatest closer baseball has ever seen will come to an end this year.

Rivera then demonstrated what he does so well. He needed just 14 pitches to induce a flyout to right by Ty Wigginton, a line-drive out to center by Lou Montanez (as part of a 11-pitch battle and a groundout to third by Hector Luna.

Dickerson’s hit came off Phillies right-hander Austin Hyatt, who entered the game in the fourth and got into trouble after retiring the first two batters.

Hyatt (1-1) hit Russell Martin with a pitch and Martin later stole second. Hyatt then walked Andruw Jones and Bill Hall to load the bases. Hyatt fell behind to Dickerson 2-0 before Dickersomn slapped his next offering into right-field to score Martin and Jones.

The Yankees added an unearned run in the eighth on a one-out double by Justin Maxwell and a fielding error by Luna that allowed Maxwell to score.

Rivera was the winning pitcher and Hyatt took the loss. Right-hander Kevin Whelan pitched a perfect ninth to get credit for a save.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Pitching was king for the Yankees. Sabathia looked sharp, Rivera was Rivera and Boone Logan, Corey Wade, Clay Rapada, Chase Whitley and Whelan combined to give up just one hit and two walks and they struck out five. Granted, it was a Phillies split squad, but it was impressive nonetheless.
  • Dickerson, 29, has always been considered a good fielder and a good athlete but he has never quite made it in the major leagues as a hitter. It was nice to see him come through with two outs with a big hit. He is hitting .273 this spring but his chances with the Yankees are bleak. He was taken off the 40-man roster and he is out of options. Dickerson may be playing for a fresh start with another team.
  • Martin stole his fourth base this spring in the Yankees’ two-run fourth inning. He leads the team in stolen bases this spring. Brett Gardner has two.
  • Derek Jeter was 2-for-3 in the game and he is hitting .308 this spring. Perhaps the Jeter of the second half of last season is the Jeter we will see in 2012.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

I can’t really see a point in nitpicking for negatives in this game.

BOMBER BANTER

Backup infielder Eduardo Nunez is still feeling discomfort in his bruised right hand. He will take two days off before trying to hit again. Nunez was struck in the hand on a pitch from Hyatt on Monday in Clearwater, FL. X-rays and a CT scan show no broken bones but Nunez has been unable to taking batting practice without feeling pain.

ON DECK

The Yankees will play their first night game of the spring on Monday, hosting the Houston Astros at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Hiroki Kuroda will get the start for the Yankees. It was be his second outing of the spring. Kevin Weiland, who was acquired from the Red Sox, will make his first start for the Astros.

Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will not be telecast.

 

Yankees Lose As Fringe Pitchers Give Up 8 Runs

GAME 3

PHILLIES 9, YANKEES 3

Hector Luna cracked a bases-clearing double in the sixth inning to cap a six-run rally as Philadelphia defeated New York in a Grapefruit League contest on Monday at Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL.

Phillies right-hander Austin Hyatt (1-0) pitched two innings and got credit for the victory in relief despite the fact he gave up two runs that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead heading into the sixth. Yankees right-hander Adam Miller (0-1) took the loss after facing six batters and not retiring one of them.

Reserve infielder Mike Martinez, who misplayed three ground balls in a 7-4 loss to the Yankees on Sunday, added a two-run home run in the seventh inning off left-hander Juan Cedeno.

The Yankees are 2-1 in Grapefruit League play. The Phillies are 1-2.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Michael Pineda, who was acquired by the Yankees in the trade with the Seattle Mariners for Jesus Montero, made his spring debut for the Yankees and looked sensational. Pineda gave up one hit and struck out two in his two innings of work, throwing 19 of his 30 pitches for strikes. Pineda’s highlight was fanning veteran Jim Thome in the first inning on a high fastball.
  • The Yankees scored their first run without the benefit of a hit off Hyatt in the fifth. Russell Martin worked a leadoff walk and Hyatt then struck Eduardo Nunez on the right hand with a pitch. Martin advanced to third on a fly ball off the bat of Bill Hall and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Jayson Nix. The Yankees scored in the following inning because of more shoddy Phillies fielding. Brett Gardner’s fly ball to left was misjudged by left-fielder Domonic Brown and the ball then caromed off the knee of center-fielder Tyson Gillies and rolled to the left-field wall. Gardner was attempting to slide into third when second baseman Kevin Frandsen’s relay throw got past Luna at third and Gardner ran home on what was scored as a triple and a throwing error on Frandsen.
  • The Yankees have no real jobs open but they have been very impressed with the bat of 22-year-old outfielder Zoilo Almonte. Almonte did it again on Monday. In the seventh inning he delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single off right-hander Brian Sances to score Brandon Laird with the Yankees’ third run. Almonte had four RBIs in Friday’s 11-0 exhibition victory against the University of South Florida. In his three games against the Phillies he is 3-for-3 with three RBIs. Almonte hit a combined .276 with 15 home runs and 77 RBIs in 116 games with Single-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton.
  • Reliever Ryan Pope looked good in the final 1 2/3 innings of the game. He retired all five batters he faced and fanned two. In a day when Miller and Cedeno combined to give up eight runs, Pope was a godsend.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Miller looked terrible in his Yankee debut. The former Indians prospect was signed on Jan. 4 as a free agent. Miller’s progress was delayed after he suffered ligament damage in his right finger that forced him two miss two seasons. Miller opened the sixth with a 2-1 lead and he gave up a leadoff single to Jim Thome. Thome was replaced by pinch-runner Juan Pierre but catcher Gustavo Miolina nabbed him attempting to steal second. Then the roof caved in for Miller. He walked Scott Podsednik, Ty Wigginton and Brown in succession. Erik Kratz followed with a RBI single and Miller forced in another run by hitting Frandsen with his next offering. Girardi then removed him.
  • Cedeno, the pitcher who replaced Miller, is among four lefties vying for a bullpen spot on the team. He has some work to do because in relief of Miller in the sixth he gave up a sac fly to Freddy Galvis, walked Gillies and then gave up a bases-loaded double to Luna that broke the game open. The following inning he gave up a two-run home run to Martinez.
  • David Robertson did not look sharp in his spring debut. After retiring the first two batters, he walked Jimmy Rollins and Rollins made him pay by stealing both second and third base. Rollins then scored the game’s first run on a sharp single up the middle by Placido Polanco.

BOMBER BANTER

The only real good news from Monday’s game was that X-rays on the right hand of Nunez were negative for a break. Nunez had swelling and pain but the injury is not considered serious and he is listed as day-to-day.  . . .  For all intents and purposes the battle for the backup catcher spot behind Martin is over. The back injury suffered by Austin Romine will put him so behind Francisco Cervelli that he will not be able to win the job. Manager Joe Girardi said the Yankees want to take a cautious approach with Romine’s back because it is a recurrence of an injury he suffered last season at Double-A Trenton. Girardi told Romine it would better for him to rest now and clear up the problem rater than have it crop up again later in the season.  . . .  For the first time this spring, the Yankees played a game in which the wind was not howling and became a factor in the game. Temperatures were in the upper 60s and the wind was blowing in from center-field at just 5 mph. That was likely good news for the players and the crowd of 9,956 that attended the game at Bright House Field.

ON DECK

After winning two of three in their opening series with the Phillies, the Yankees travel to Bradenton, FL, to play the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.

The Yankees plan to start ace left-hander CC Sabathia and right-hander Phil Hughes is also scheduled to pitch. The Yankees will bring their starting infield of Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez to the game.

Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EST and the game will not be broadcast on television.

 

A-Rod Starts Red Hot As Yankees Cool Off Phils

GAME 2

YANKEES 7, PHILLIES 4

TAMPA - When it comes to anything positive that Alex Rodriguez does this spring, it will always be couched in very cautious terms. Last spring, Rodriguez was in excellent shape and hit everything in sight but it did not carry over to the 2011 season.

So when Rodriguez hit a screaming line-drive home run to right-center on the first Grapefruit League pitch he saw from Roy Halladay and then followed it up with a single and an RBI double off Joel Pineiro, Rodriguez tried to keep it all in perspective after the game.

“Last year, I stood here and had a really good spring, felt really good and the results during the year weren’t what we all wanted,” Rodriguez said. “[I take it] definitely one day a time. A good start; hopefully the first of many more days to come.”

The same can be said for the Yankees as a whole.

They shook off a two-run home run in the first inning by Hunter Pence, his second two-run shot off the Yankees in two days, to come back to score four unanswered runs as they went on to defeat the Phiilies for the second straight day in the team’s home Grapefruit league opener on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The Phiilies helped the Yankees by committing four errors in the field. The losing pitcher, Pineiro (0-1), was the victim of most of the misplays.

After Pineiro walked Francisco Cervelli on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded and two out in the third inning to tie the score at 2-2, the Phillies treated the ball like a hand grenade in the fourth.

Justin Maxwell reached base with one out on a fielding error by third baseman Ty Wigginton. Second baseman Mike Martinez then botched a double-play ball off the bat of Derek Jeter that allowed Maxwell to advance to second while Martinez recovered to retire Jeter. Then Martinez made his second error in as many innings on a ball off the bat of Robinson Cano that allowed Maxwell to score the game’s eventual deciding run.

Rodriguez finished off the error-laden rally with an RBI double to the wall in left field to score Cano.

Rookie right-hander D.J. Mitchell (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings behind starter Freddy Garcia to pick up the victory. Young right-hander Chase Whitley got credit for a save despite the fact he gave up two hits in the ninth.

The Yankees have a 2-0 spring record. The Phillies are 0-2.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • A-Rod’s 3-for-3 day illustrated why it is so important to keep the 36-year-old slugger healthy for a full season. When he is locked in at the plate he remains one of the scariest hitters in baseball to face. Rodriguez was limited to only 99 games last season due to a knee injury and later a sprained left thumb.
  • Despite the fact Garcia was tagged for a two-run home run, he still pitched well in his two innings of work. Garcia gave up two runs on four hits. He did not walk a batter and he struck out two. He threw 25 of his 33 pitches for strikes.
  • The Yankees teed off on 6-foot-7, 255-pound right-hander Phillippe Aumont for three runs in the seventh inning to extend their lead to 7-3. Jose Gil blasted an RBI double after Domonic Brown dropped a routine fly ball off the bat of Corbin Joseph for a two-base error. Catching prospect J.R. Murphy and Jayson Nix later added RBI singles to close out the Yankees’ scoring.
  • Clay Rapada, who is in a four-way battle to become the second left-hander in the bullpen, threw a perfect inning of relief and struck out two batters.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  •  Cano pulled a base-running blunder that cost the Yankees in the third inning. With one out and Cano on second and Rodriguez at first, Cano drifted towards second base on fly ball off the bat of Mark Teixeira that dropped out of the glove of shortstop Freddy Galvis. Brown picked up the ball in left-field and threw Cano out easily at third base in an odd fielder’s choice from the outfield.
  • Yankee pitching gave up a total of 12 hits, five of them for extra bases. The one positive is they only walked one and struck out nine batters. The Phillies hurt their own cause by hitting just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and they left the bases loaded in the first inning en route to stranding eight runners overall.
  • Relievers Corey Wade and Kevin Whelan each gave up an earned run in their one inning of work. Wade gave up a two-out, two-run double to Galvis in the sixth and Whelan was touched for RBI out by Hector Luna scoring Lou Montanez in the eighth.

BOMBER BANTER

The Yankees celebrated their home opener by inviting the George M. Steinbrenner High School band to perform during the pregame show. Haley Swindal performed the national anthem during a flyover by two F18 Hornet jets from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA.  . . .  After a 82-degree day in Clearwater, FL, on Saturday, temperatures dipped to the mid-60s on Sunday in Tampa and a sellout crowd of 10,981 had to brave 20-mph winds blowing from the left-field line to the right-field line.. The wind also played havoc with fly balls for the second straight day, making pop-ups an adventure for both teams.  . . .  Mariano Rivera and Rafael Soriano are scheduled to pitch a live inning of batting practice on Monday at Steinbrenner Field. Manager Joe Girardi said Rivera will throw one more batting practice session and then will be ready for game action next week.  . . .   Starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda pitched a simulated inning on Sunday in preparation for his spring debut Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.  . . .  Outfielder Cole Garner was sidelined on Sunday with hamstring tightness after homering in the Yankees’ Grapefruit League opener against the Phillies in Clearwater on Saturday. He will be re-evaluated on Monday, Girardi said.

ON DECK

The Yankees will travel to Bright House Field in Clearwater on Monday to take on the Phillies for the third straight day.

Newly acquired right-hander Michael Pineda, 23, will make his Yankee debut as the starting pitcher. David Robertson is among a group of relievers also expected to pitch on Monday. The Yankees also will bring their starting outfield of Brett Garner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher.

The Phillies will counter with with veteran right-hander Joe Blanton. Scott Elarton, Austin Hyatt, Brian Sanches and David Herndon also are scheduled to pitch for the Phillies.

Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EST and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network.

 

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