You may not have heard of Zoilo Almonte coming into spring training. Other than the fact that his first name is pretty cool, you wouldn’t have expected him to make an impact for the Yankees. Well, in his first start, he was a huge catalyst in the Yankees much needed victory against the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2. The Yanks played a ton of small ball as well.
Brett Gardner started off the bottom of the first with a bunt single. Ichiro Suzuki followed with a single of his own to move Gardner to third. Robinson Cano‘s sac fly made it 1-0. The Rays tied it in the third when Yunel Escobar singled, advanced on two groundouts, and scored on Ben Zobrist‘s infield hit.
The Yankees took the lead back in the bottom half. Austin Romine doubled to lead off the inning. Gardner bunted him to third, and Ichiro’s groundout made it 2-1. The Rays tied it back up right away in the top of the fourth. James Loney singled, went to second on David Phelps‘ wild pitch and scored on Luke Scott‘s single.
The Yankees came right back in the bottom half. Three straight singles by Lyle Overbay, Travis Hafner and Almonte loaded the bases. Jayson Nix grounded into a double play, but a run scored. David Adams infield single brought home another run.
Almonte added his first major league home run in the sixth to make it 5-2. Overbay drove in Cano with a single in the eighth for some extra insurance.
YGY Player Of The Game: Almonte
Notes: Curtis Granderson got the pin taken out of his hand yesterday. The Yankees made a flurry of roster moves yesterday. Reid Brignac was designated for assignment and Alberto Gonzalez was recalled. The team signed Mike Zagurski to a minor league deal. Brett Lillibridge was acquired from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named. Yoshinori Tateyama was acquired from the Texas Rangers for cash and sent to AAA.