Yankees 6, Cardinals 7: Two Ninth Inning Errors Lead to Cardinals Rally & Win

USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees led by two going to the bottom of the ninth in a game that had been back and forth for most of the afternoon, but a big homer and two big errors in the final frame allowed the Cardinals to score three on their way to a win. Ivan Nova was sharp to begin the game with three innings of one-run ball. He allowed three hits and issued one walk while striking out two batters in his outing. Nova was replaced by Brett Marshall for four innings that went a little less well. Marshall gave up a solo homer to Peter Kozma and a two-run shot by Daniel Descalso to tie the game and eventually put the Cardinals ahead after the Yankees had once again re-gained the lead.

Matt Tracy followed Marshall with a clean inning, but Kelvin Perez and Josh Spence were not as lucky. Perez lasted for only 2/3rds of an inning in the ninth, but he managed to give up a game-tying two-run homer to Kolton Wong in that time. Zoilo Almonte committed a fielding error on the next play that allowed the winning run to reach second base, and it was all downhill from there. Dan Johnson continued to prove to be a bit of a defensive liability with an error at first base that moved the winning run to third. Josh Spence relieved Perez, but with only one out and the winning run 90 feet away, his chances were never good to get out of the inning without further damage. Adron Chambers singled with the infield and outfield pulled in and that was the game.

Scoring six runs with this lineup should be considered an accomplishment despite the final result of the game. Eleven different Yankee hitters reached base at least once, four of them drawing walks off of Cardinals pitchers. Ramon Flores, Austin Romine, Francisco Cervelli, Ronnier Mustelier, and JR Murphy were responsible for driving in the runs for the Yankees. Mustelier got the start at third base, perhaps signaling that the team may give him a chance to play there while Mark Teixeira is out if they move Kevin Youkilis to third, and he was actually quite impressive on a couple defensive plays. Third base has looked incredibly shaky when anyone other than Youkilis has played there so far in Spring Training, but Mustelier may have been able to earn himself more consideration for making the team with his strong day there this afternoon.

The Yankees stay in Jupiter for a game against the Miami Marlins tomorrow afternoon. Adam Warren gets the start for New York, while Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound for Miami at 1:05 p.m.

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