Monday, March 9, 2015

Recap: Yankees 4, Rays 3

Michael Pineda cruised through two shutout innings and Nathan Eovaldi followed him up with a nice three more Monday as the Yankees won their third straight game over the Rays, 4-3, in a matinee featuring many of their big-league arms.

Pineda's Preseason Debut: Pineda tossed a pair of stress-free frames in his first start of the spring -- striking out two and giving up a hit. He induced three consecutive groundouts in a quick top of the second, and used just 25 pitches in total.

Eovaldi Shows Improvement: Eovaldi looked a little rusty in his last outing on Wednesday, but seemed to have better control this time around. He surrendered just three singles over three innings -- keeping the Rays off the board while recording five strikeouts.

A-Rod Drives in a Run: Alex Rodriguez has hit solidly over the first week of March, and continued that trend with a 2-for-3 performance against a trio of Rays pitchers. He singled twice off right-handers Nathan Karns and Brandon Gomes -- plating a run in the second -- and flew out to deep center off Jordan Norberto later on.

Good Signs from the New Bullpen Pieces: Despite each letting a baserunner reach scoring position on the afternoon, new Yankees relievers David Carpenter, Justin Wilson and Chris Martin all managed to throw scoreless innings -- with Carpenter and Wilson both fanning one and Martin two. Martin -- in pitching the ninth -- also earned the save, but had to work his way out of a man-on-second, one-out jam to do so.

Offense Early, Offense Late: Two batters after Rodriguez's RBI single in the second, the Yankees crossed home again on a routine chopper from Didi Gregorius -- their last run until the seventh. They circled the bases twice more on hard-hit knocks by center fielder Slade Heathcott and first baseman Greg Bird in that at-bat -- bringing their lead up to a comfortable 4-0 at the time. 

Next Up: The Yankees will hand Chase Whitley the ball Tuesday when they face off with the Orioles in Sarasota -- a matchup in which lefty Wei-Yin Chen is set to pitch for Baltimore. The entire Yankees' starting infield is expected to make the trip for the 1:05 p.m. contest, joined notably by rotation candidate Esmil Rogers.

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