Friday, February 28, 2014

Brian McCann hit his first homerun of the spring, and the Yankees hit four total on the day in their 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers Friday in Lakeland.

The Tigers tried putting together a late-inning comeback, scoring four runs in the 7th against Brian Gordon, but in the end, it wasn't enough to overcome the four homeruns hit by the Bombers.

McCann put the Yankees on the board against reigning Cy Young winning Max Scherzer in the top of the 2nd inning with a solo homerun.

“I usually don’t hit home runs early in camp,” McCann said. “I don’t know if that’s a good sign or a bad sign. My first two games, I’ve been pleased with the way I’ve felt at the plate.”

The Yankees brought in McCann to be the same guy that hits at least 20 homeruns a year, and help be a serious upgrade over the eight homeruns that the Yankees got from the catcher position last season.

"That's one of the reasons we brought him here," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Not just to add from the catching standpoint, but to add offensively, and he has that ability."

Sanchez tacked on another run in the 3rd inning with a solo blast of his own. Even though Sanchez is still a few years away from being big league ready, it's still a good thing to see him hitting well in camp.

"It was my very first Spring Training home run," said Sanchez. "It was very good."

The Yankees only had two hits going into the 7th inning -- the two solo homeruns -- but were able to add two more in the inning, giving them a 4-0 lead when Jose Pirela homered after a Austin Romine single.

Yangervis Solarte, who was 2-for-2 in the game, continued his hot-hitting early in the spring by blasting a three-run homerun in the five-run 7th inning, pushing the Yankees' lead to 7-0 before Detroit bounced back for four runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Adam Warren started the game on the mound for the Yankees. He got off to a rough start, giving up a leadoff double to Rajai Davis, then walking Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the first inning. He was lucky enough to get out of the inning unharmed by picking off Davis at second base, then Cabrera was caught trying to steal third on the Martinez walk.

"I know he’s aggressive on the base paths, so it was kinda just a daylight play." Warren said. "It’s neat to pick somebody off, just to get the practice and game experience in, I just wasn’t expecting it."

Warren came back out for the second inning, and set down the Tigers in order on just four pitches.

“A little jumpy the first inning, just excited to get back out there,” Warren said. “I’m not pleased with the walks, but I know that’s not normal for me. Just feel like I was a little jumpy, so made the adjustment in the second inning there.”

As one of the candidates for the fifth starter job, Warren didn't really do much to help his case to be in the rotation. After Vidal Nuno threw two scoreless innings on Tuesday, and David Phelps struck out four yesterday, Warren is likely in third base -- he could be fourth is you also throw in Michael Pineda.

"I’ve set my goals higher." Warren said. "It goes from just trying to make the team — I mean, I’m still trying to make the team this year — but setting some higher goals for myself, making more of an impact. For the most part not thinking about competing, just getting ready for the season. But I’m definitely more comfortable this year and a little more confident after what happened last year."

Jacoby Ellsbury started in center field for the second time this spring and went 0-for-2. Eduardo Nunez was 0-for-3 in his spring debut, starting at third base. Zoilo Almonte went hitless in two at-bats, but threw out Torii Hunter at the plate from left field in the 3rd inning to keep the Tigers off of the board at the time.

“It’s kind of exactly what I would have done before the rule (about not blocking the plate),” McCann said of the play at the plate. “You let the ball travel, and it was a bang-bang play, and he slid right into the tag. It was a great throw. All I had to do was put my glove on the plate and he was there.”

Carlos Beltran is still searching for his first hit of the spring. He went 0-for-2 in today's game after going hitless in three at-bats on Wednesday.

CC Sabathia gets the ball for the Yankees tomorrow when they take on the Philadelphia Phillies in Tampa at 1:05pm EST. Oh, and Masahiro Tanaka will be making his Yankees debut. You will be able to watch the game on YES.


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer of Yanks Beat Blog, and you can follow him on Twitter at @GavinEwbank.


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