The sun was shining at Steinbrenner Field as the Yankees took the field for the first time to open the 2014 Spring Training season. The Bronx Bombers beat the Florida State Seminoles 8-3, a team that included reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. Winston came into the game in the fifth inning as an outfielder. He grounded out to Dean Anna in the sixth inning and struck out swinging against Bryan Mitchell in the eighth inning. However, Winston still received a nice ovation from the crowd.
As for the pro team, Vidal Nuno got the start for the Yankees and did a solid job in his first chance to impress the coaches in the competition for the number five spot. He pitched two scoreless innings, gave up one hit, and struck out three batters. Other pitchers who came in the game were Brian Gordon, Shane Greene, Mitchell, and Francisco Rondon. Overall, the pitching effort was great by the Yankees, with the exception of Greene, who gave up three runs in the top of the sixth inning on a bases clearing double. The pitchers combined to strike out 10 Florida State batters while only walking one.
Manager Joe Girardi kept to his word from Tuesday that some of his regulars would start the opening game. This included recently extended Brett Gardner, Kelly Johnson, and Brendan Ryan, who got the start at shortstop. Ryan got the scoring started in the bottom of the second when he hit a RBI double to left that scored Zoilo Almonte to give the Yankees the lead.
While John Ryan Murphy didn’t catch in this game, he did start at designated hitter and went 2-for-2 along with a RBI double in the bottom of the 4th inning. Non-roster invitee Yangervis Solarte also had a nice fielding day at second base and went 1-for-2 with a RBI single in the same inning.
The crowd also saw their first long ball of the spring season as left fielder Ramon Flores hit a solo homer to right field to cap the scoring for the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees now get set to head to Bradenton, Florida to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ivan Nova will get the start, while newcomers Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann are scheduled to play four to five innings.