David Phelps continued his strong start to the spring, allowing just three hits and one walk over five innings, as the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 3-0 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. (No seriously, that's what it's called.)
While the pitching was good, the offense didn't have their greatest day ever, with all of it scoring on one swing. Brett Gardner lead off the top of the fifth with a walk. Jayson Nix advanced Gardner to second, and reached himself on an error by Blue Jays shortstop Mike McCoy. (Nix seems to reach on errors quite a bit.) Kevin Youkilis was next up, and he walked to load the bases. Juan Rivera then doubled to score all three of them to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. It was all the offense the Yankees needed.
Brett Gardner went 0-3 with that one walk. Kevin Youkilis went 1-2 with the aforementioned walk. Possible starter Francisco Cervelli was 0-2 with a walk. Nix went 0-4, but did reach on the already mentioned error.
Roster Spot Candidates
In addition to his double, Juan Rivera had a big day at the plate, marking his place in the race for roster spots. Rivera went 3-4, with the three RBI on the double. Matt Diaz was 0-3 and Dan Johnson walked once. Melky Mesa was 0-3 with 2 Ks. Zoilo Almonte was 0-1 and Ronnier Mustelier was 0-1 but got some time at third.
Slade Heathcott was 0-1, grounding into a force out. Heathcott was the one who was not forced out, but was then picked off at first. Oops. Austin Romine was 0-1. Thomas Neal was 1-2 with a walk. Addison Maruszak was 0-1. Lots of people were 0-1 today, that kind of game.
Phelps was good, as mentioned. Preston "Of the Chesterfield Claibornes" Claiborne went 0.2 of inning allowing a hit. (No idea where he's from, but somewhere called Chesterfield sounds right.) Josh Spence went 0.2 of an inning not allowing anything. Mark Montgomery allowed a hit in 0.1 inning, and Vidal Nuno struck out two and allowed two hits in 2.1 innings to finish out the game
This game will apparently be playing tonight/tomorrow morning on MLB Network at 3 am eastern, if you're interested in watching it.
The Yankees return (to their spring training) home tomorrow to play the Cardinals at 1:05 eastern. The game will be on YES.