The Yankees beat the Rays 6-4 thanks to some strong relief pitching, including Chan Ho Park’s spring debut, and a three-run homer by Colin Curtis.
R – Derek Jeter (SS)
L – Curtis Granderson (CF)
S – Nick Swisher (RF)
S – Jorge Posada (C)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
R – Marcus Thames (DH)
S – Randy Winn (LF)
L – Juan Miranda (1B)
S – Ramiro Peña (3B)
Subs: Jon Weber (1B), Reegie Corona (2B), Kevin Russo (SS), Eduardo Nuñez (3B), Austin Romine (C), Reid Gorecki (RF), Greg Golson (CF), Colin Curtis (LF), P.J. Pilittere (DH)
Pitchers (IP): Javier Vazquez (3), Romulo Sanchez (2/3), Boone Logan (1/3), Chan Ho Park (1), David Robertson (1), Mark Melancon (2), Dustin Moseley (1)
Big Hits: A booming two-run double just shy of the warning track in center field by Derek Jeter (2-for-3). That double came before he hurt his hand, but the single came after. A three-run homer by Colin Curtis (1-for-3), his second dinger of the spring. Ramiro Peña had two singles in three at-bats.
Who Pitched Well: Chan Ho Park looked sharp in a perfect fifth inning, needing just eight pitches to retire the side, striking out one and making a nice play coming off the mound. David Robertson struck out two (one on a nose-to-toes curve, the other on high heat) in a perfect sixth. Though Jorge Posada sullied it with a run-scoring passed ball, Boone Logan made like a proper LOOGY in the fourth, coming in with two out and the bases loaded to strike out Carl Crawford with a good slider and strand the remaining runners. Dustin Moseley worked a perfect ninth. Mark Melancon gave up a run following a booming leadoff triple by Justin Ruggiano in the eighth, but he didn’t allow any other hits and only one other man hit a ball to the outfield in his two innings of work. In the seventh, he erased a leadoff walk with a strike-em-out/throw-em-out double play with Austin Romine throwing out opposing catcher Dioner Navarro.
Javier Vazquez worked into some deep counts and walked two, shaving an inning of his intended workload by using up 60 pitches in just three frames, but he limited the damage to a solo homer by Carlos Peña (on a fastball up and on the outside half of the plate) and only allowed one other hit (a harmless single) while striking out three.
Who Didn’t: Romulo Sanchez gave up two runs on a walk and three hits, including a B.J. Upton double, before he could get three outs. He was all over the place, which was one reason Jorge Posada whiffed on a low fastball to allow one of those runs to score.
Nice Plays: On a slow roller to second, Robinson Cano circled the ball, came in on the grass, and scooped and shoveled the ball to first with his glove to get the out. Later in the game, the coaching staff had Cano positioned perfectly on Pat Burrell. Robby needed just two steps to knock down a would-be single up the middle that nearly took off David Robertson’s head. Chan Ho Park sprung off the mound to make a clean play and a strong throw on a bouncer well on the grass to the left side by Carlos Peña. Though it didn’t result in an out, Jorge Posada made a near-perfect throw to second on a stealing Carl Crawford in the third. Crawford was safe, but barely.
Oopsies: Playing shortstop, Kevin Russo was unable to come up with a hard grounder to his right in the eighth, allowing a run to score from third on what was ruled an error. On a chopper in front of the plate by Ben Zobrist in the third, Javier Vazquez and Jorge Posada both charged the ball but simultaneously pulled up expecting the other to make the play, thus allowing Zobrist to reach safely as the ball went untouched. In the fourth, Posada failed to block a low fastball from Romulo Sanchez that got through his wickets and allowed B.J. Upton to score from third. Later that inning, Posada had a Boone Logan fastball that was nearly a strike clank off his glove allowing another run to score. All of which would seem to bode well for Jesus Montero. Posada’s been out-hitting his defense for years. I’m guessing Montero can do the same.
Ouchies: A diving Derek Jeter, in failing to come up with a hard single to his left, got his throwing hand caught on the lip of the outfield grass but stayed in the game and got a hit in the bottom of that inning. He was seen wincing during warm-up throws later in the game, but, say it with me: he’s fine and will play tomorrow. A day after getting hit in the lower back with a Ryan Howard line-drive, Damaso Marte is doing well and could pitch in Friday’s home game.