Sunday, March 9, 2014

David Phelps pitched five shutout innings, giving up just three hits, and Dellin Betances continued his great spring by tossing a scoreless 6th inning, but in the end, the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays played to a 10 inning tie on a sunny afternoon at The Boss in Tampa.

Down by a run entering the inning, Jose Gil and Adonis Garcia put together back-to-back two-out singles to put runners on the corners, and then Braulio Lara threw a wild pitch that brought home pinch-runner Antoan Richardson to tie the game.

After Scott Sizemore drew a walk, Adonis Garcia had a chance to win the game, but he grounded out on a terrible 2-0 pitch from Lara, sending the game into extra-innings, where the ballgame would end in a 3-3 tie.

Phelps continued his charge to be the Yankees' fifth starter with a great outing against the Rays. This was probably his best start of the spring, as he was able to work his way through five shutout innings, giving up just three hits, while striking out one, and he didn't issue any walks.

After giving up a double to Matt Joyce with one out in the first inning, Phelps went on a streak of setting down nine in-a-row before a Wil Myers single in the 4th.

I still believe that Phelps will start this season in the bullpen with Michael Pineda winning the fifth starter job as long as he continues to pitch the way he did in his debut Friday night.

Betances followed Phelps out of the bullpen, and was impressive once again. He gave up a one-out double to Desmond Jennings and left him stranded at third after striking out Joyce on a nasty slider, one of the breaking pitches that Betances has been using well this spring, and getting Myers to groundout the end the inning.

Betances hasn't given up a run in 6.1 innings this spring, and at this pace, I see no reason why Joe Girardi won't include him in his Opening Day bullpen.

After Bruce Billings took over on the mound to start the 7th inning, James Loney ripped a double the other way down the left field line, then scored a batter later when Sean Rodriguez dropped down a bunt that Billings threw away.

Rodriguez stole second base and eventually moved to third on a passed ball, and then Ryan Hanigan singled home to put double the Rays lead, making it 2-0.

The Yankees were able to cut Tampa's lead to 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning on a sac-fly by Brian Roberts.

The Rays put that run back on the board in the next inning on a Mikie Mahtook single against Danny Burawa, who has looked good this spring. The Yankees tried again to come back in the 8th, cutting to lead to one when Jose Pirela scored from third on a stolen base by Adonis Garcia.

Derek Jeter played six innings at shortstop and went 0-for-3 at the plate. However, Jeter had a handful of plays in the field and looked to be moving very well on every play. The way he's been moving around and running the bases in games has been a great sign early.

Alfonso Soriano played in his third spring training game and went 2-for-3 with one of those hits being an infield single. There has been some talk about the Yankees using Soriano at first base, btu he was only in left field for today's game.

The Yankees will have a complete off-day tomorrow -- seriously, nothing will be happening in camp. But they'll be back out on the field Tuesday when they travel to play the Washington Nationals at 1:05 pm ET.


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