The New York Yankees got their first win of Spring Training Friday, 7-4 over the Detroit Tigers, thanks to a power surge from some new and unfamiliar Yankee bats.
The scoring began in the second inning when new addition Brian McCann took last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer deep to right field; a sight Yankee fans hope they see a lot of from McCann this season. The solo homer was the only hit Scherzer allowed in two innings of work in his spring debut. McCann finished the game 1-for-2.
Not to be outdone, top prospect Gary Sanchez hit a solo shot of his own to left field in the third inning to make it 2-0. The 21-year-old catcher profiles as a big bat, and he showed off some of that potential today. His future, however, may not be at the catcher position as the Yankees inked McCann to a 5-year deal this off-season. He has struggled behind the plate, so a move to first base or a position as full-time DH may be in Sanchez’s future. As long as his bat develops, the Yankees will be happy no matter where he plays.
The bats tacked on five more runs in the seventh inning off a pair of home runs from left fielder Jose Pirela (a two-run shot) and second baseman Yangervis Solarte, which drove in three. Solarte, a dark-horse candidate for the second base job, had two hits and is now 4-for-5 with two home runs, three runs scored and five RBI this spring.
On the mound, the Yanks were even more impressive as starter Adam Warren combined with relievers Shawn Kelley, Mark Montgomery, Danny Burawa and Fred Lewis to no-hit the Tigers through six innings. The group combined to strike out four and walk three. The no-hit bid was broken up in the seventh, however, as 35-year-old right-hander Brian Gordon was tagged for four runs on four hits in an inning of work.
Chase Whitley restored order in the eight with a hitless inning of his own in what was a bounce-back effort for him. The 24-year-old was tagged with the loss in the spring opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday after allowing four runs on four hits.
The win moves the Yanks to 1-2 this spring as they dropped the Tigers to 2-1. New York returns to action at George M. Steinbrenner Field against the Philadelphia Phillies tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET. The game will air on YES Network and will reportedly feature CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka all on the mound for an expected two innings (around 35 pitches) each.