Thursday, March 5, 2015

Recap: Yankees 2, Pirates 1

Esmil Rogers tossed two scoreless innings and Tyler Austin broke a 1-1 tie with a solo shot in the eighth as the Yankees beat the Pirates, 2-1, Thursday afternoon in Bradenton.

Rogers Shines in Spring Debut: Rogers probably won't be in the Yankees' rotation come April, but at least in this game, the youngster looked impressive. In total, Rogers gave up just one hit on the day --  recording no walks and a strikeout. 

Whitley Makes Strong Case for Roster Spot: After Rogers was taken out, fellow bullpen candidate Chase Whitley too kept Pittsburgh off the board for a pair of frames -- solidly surrendering just two singles in the third and fourth innings. He, like Rogers, walked none and struck out one -- inducing two flyouts and a groundout. 

Bench Contributions: Chris Young and Garrett Jones are two of the more likely guys to make the Yankees' bench this season, and if they do indeed, their performances in this exhibition were definitely good signs. Young went 1-for-3 and Jones 2-for-2 in this victory -- with Jones driving home a run with a double in the fifth. 

Austin Takes Over: Besides hitting a long home run to left off Deolis Guerra in the eighth to give the Yankees the lead, Austin also threw the would-be go-ahead run out at home in this one's bottom of the sixth -- gunning down Jaff Decker at the plate after he tried to score on a knock by Deibinson Romero. 

Starter Stats: Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner were the only Yankees starters in the lineup for this contest, and for the second time since Tuesday, neither managed to get a hit. Ellsbury went 0-for-3 and Gardner 0-for-1 with two walks -- both coming within the first three innings.

Next Up: The Yankees will split the squad Friday when they visit the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. ET and host the Pirates at 7:05 p.m. ET, meetings in which two more of their possible major-league arms will be given the nod. Bryan Mitchell is expected to go against Cole Hamels when the Yanks and Phils take the field in Clearwater, and Chris Capuano is set to matchup with the Pirates' Jeff Locke later in the evening. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)