Salaries for free agent starting pitchers are down league-wide this offseason.
Yankees 4, Pirates 2
Reliever Mike Crotta, who had not given up a run up ’til today, surrendered his first spring training run this afternoon in Tampa. Crotta came on to pitch the final inning, with the Yankees already ahead 3-2. He gave up a single, a sacrifice bunt, and another single, for the Yankees’ final run of the game. Crotta is still in the running for a bullpen spot with the Pirates.
The Yankees got onto the scoreboard first, with a 2-run homer by Alex Rodriguez in the bottom of the 1st inning off starter Kevin Correia. Correia sailed through the next two innings, then gave up another run in the 4th on a walk and two singles. He gave up only one more hit in the next two innings, finishing his afternoon with 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts. Jose Veras pitched a scoreless 7th inning.
The Pirates scored one run in the 2nd inning, when 3B Pedro Alvarez led off with a walk and C Jason Jaramillo doubled him in. LF Jose Tabata smacked a triple in the 5th inning, and scored on 2B Neil Walker’s sacrifice fly, for the Pirates’ second run. The Pirates posted 10 hits in the game, but did not score again – 8 runners were left on base. Manager Clint Hurdle indicated that today’s lineup is what he expects to be his regular starting lineup, and today most of those position players were in for the entire game. SS Ronny Cedeno came out of the game in a double-switch in the bottom of the 8th, and Josh Rodriguez entered the game. Rodriguez lined a single in the top of the 9th, but was left on base.
The Pirates have two more games in Florida (at McKechnie Field against the Rays on Sunday, and in Ft. Myers against the Twins on Monday. Then they will play two games in Philadelphia on Tuesday and Wednesday, before heading to Chicago to begin the regular season next Friday.
The Pirates reassigned four more players to minor league camp this morning: P Brian Burres, C Dusty Brown, INF Andy Marte, and INF Corey Wimberly. Moving Marte to minor league camp is encouraging for Steve Pearce, who is now nearly assured a bench spot on the major league team.
S/W-B Yankees 6, Indy Indians 5
The Indians faced New York Yankees’ pitcher CC Sabathia this afternoon in a AAA spring training game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in Tampa this afternoon. They hit 5 singles off Sabathia in three innings, but could not bring any of those base runners around to score. James McDonald came from the Pirates’ big league camp to make a start for the Indians. He gave up one run on 4 hits in his 3 innings. The Indians scored a run in the 6th inning on Alex Presley’s sacrifice fly. Josh Fields, who went 2-for-3 in the game, doubled in a run in the 7th, then Jim Negrych followed with a 2-run homer. The Indians were leading 5-2 going into the bottom of the 8th. The Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the frame with 3 runs on a pair of doubles. Then in the bottom of the 9th, the Yankees scored with a 2-out single to take the win.
Sketchy reports from two other games:
On Thursday, the Indians lost to the Las Vegas 51′s by a score of 5-3, despite home runs by Chase d’Arnaud and Alex Presley.
On Friday, the Indians and the S/W-B Yankees played to a 1-1 tie. Rudy Owens pitched 4 innings for the Indians, and struck out 6 batters.