Yanks Courteously Top Tigers as Ibanez Stops Skid with a Homer

Mar. 24, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Raul Ibanez (27) hits a two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Raul Ibanez finally got a hit, and it wasn't a cheapie. After extending his spring slump to 0-27 with two weak outs in his prior at bats, Ibanez got off the snide in the seventh inning, when he drove a Max Scherzer offering over the center fielder wall. The tie-breaking blast was only Ibanez' third hit of the season, but as he circled the bases, it probably felt as if a significant weight had been lifted.

Aside from Ibanez' homer, there wasn't much offense until the ninth inning, when the Tigers tied the game, but stranded the winning run at second base. Despite the tie, Joe Girardi courteously decided to play extra innings, which was a good thing for the Yankees because Dewayne Wise doubled in two more runs in the top of the 10th. Of greater significance, however, was the performance of Cesar Cabral, who retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning. It may have been a "meaningless" save in 4-2 exhibition win, but for Cabral it was another chance to show he deserves to go north with the team.

Earlier in the game, the Yankees were the beneficiary of another strong starting performance as Freddy Garcia shut the Tigers out on one hit over 4 1/3 innings. Meanwhile, Max Scherzer was also on his game, surrendering only three hits and two runs in seven innings. However, both starters ended with a no decision after D.J. Mitchell squandered the lead in the ninth inning.

The Yankees' lineup was mostly filled with bench players and those soon to be assigned to minor league camp, but Robinson Cano was hitless in three at bats, while Mark Teixeira chipped in with a single. Also of note, Prince Fielder went 0-3 in his Tiger debut against the Yankees.

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