ORIOLES 3, YANKEES 2
TAMPA – Quintin Berry stroked an RBI single to tie the game and Julio Borbon later followed with an RBI groundout in the seventh inning as Baltimore rallied to defeat New York in an exhibition game on Tuesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Brad Brach (1-0) pitched an inning of scoreless relief to get credit for the victory. Brock Huntzinger pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn a save.
Right-hander Chase Whitley (0-2) was tagged with the loss.
The Yankees scored both their runs with two out in the second inning against Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen. Francisco Cervelli blasted a solo home run and, after back-to-back singles by Brendan Ryan and Russ Canzler, Yangervis Solarte delivered an RBI single to score Ryan.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Yankees and dropped their Grapefruit League record to 4-3. The Orioles improved to 3-2.
- Cervelli celebrated his 28th birthday a day early with his first home run of the spring. Cervelli was 1-for-2 with a walk and is now 4-for-9 (.556) early this spring. Cervelli is the leading candidate in the backup catching competition between Austin Romine, John Ryan Murphy and himself.
- Solarte entered the contest 6-for-7 (.857) with two home runs and five RBIs. The 26-year-old minor-league free-agent utility infielder came through again on Tuesday with an RBI single in the second inning. Though Solarte’s odds of making the team are real long, he is drawing attention with his bat, his glove and his hustle this spring.
- Chris Leroux, a 29-year-old Canadian right-hander, pitched two perfect innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts. Leroux has pitched in 63 major-league games with the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates with a 1-2 record and a 5.56 ERA. He is a non-roster invitee to camp.
- Yankees starter David Phelps was not as sharp as he would have liked on Tuesday. He gave up a run on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. However, Phelps did wriggle out of trouble in the first two innings before surrendering a leadoff triple to David Lough and an RBI groundout by Jemile Weeks in the third. Phelps got out of a two-on and nobody out situation in the first by getting Delmon Young to hit into double play and inducing Steve Clavenger to hit into a groundout in the first. He escaped the same two on and no out situation in the second by retiring Francisco Peguero, Berry and Cord Phelps in order.
- Whitley, 24, is having a lot of trouble in the early going. Whitley came into camp with a 3-2 record and 3.06 ERA in 29 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season. He has been tagged for six runs on six hits and three walks in innings. He is 0-2 with a 18.00 ERA.
- Derek Jeter started the game as designated hitter and went 0-2, including bouncing into his third double play. The Yankee captain is 0-for-9. He may not be panicking but he is not really happy with his early performance at the plate. Jeter has yet to hit a solid line drive.
The Yankees travel to Port Charlotte, FL, on Wednesday to face the Tampa Bay Rays for the first time this spring.
Right-hander Adam Warren, 26, will make his second start of the spring for the Yankees.
Left-hander Cesar Ramos will start for the Rays.
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EST and the game will be broadcast by MLB Radio.
The publishing of this report was delayed by technical difficulties.
- Nova used his curveball to keep the Rangers from attacking his fastball. Nova also kept his fastball down and away from the middle of the plate. The result was a lot of weak infield grounders. With Phil Hughes on the disabled list, Nova is showing the Yankees that he can not only keep his team in games, he can also dominate them when he is sharp.
- Granderson now has a team-best 10 home runs on the season and he tied Robinson Cano for the team lead in RBIs with 21. Four of his 10 home runs have come off left-handers this season, a testament to his work last August with hitting coach Kevin Long to shorten his swing.
- The Yankees flashed some leather behind Nova on Friday. Though he committed a rare error that led to an unearned run in the eighth inning, Teixeira robbed Chris Davis of a base hit with a diving grab to his right in the third inning. Derek Jeter turned back the clock himself and provided a gem of his own in the seventh inning. He went deep into the hole on a Adrian Beltre grounder, leaped into the air and threw his patented jump toss to first to nip Beltre at first.
- The Yankees’ offense is still struggling and over-dependent on the long ball. They managed only five hits and they allowed Harrison to right himself after he had thrown 45 pitches, given up three runs on three hits and three walks and with the bases loaded and one out in the second inning. Teixeira hit a weak foul pop to Davis at first and Alex Rodriguez flied out to center to leave the bases loaded. That began a stretch where Harrison retired 13 of the next 16 batters he faced.
- Teixeira had a particularly rough night at the plate. He was 0-for-4 and he did not manage to get a ball out the infield. His season average has sunk to .243.
- Brett Gardner needs to work to become a lot better bunter. In the second inning, his attempt at sacrifice bunt was turned into an easy out when Beltre threw out Jorge Posada at third base. In the ninth inning, his bunt attempt became an easy popup for Davis charging from first base.