Yankees 2, Pirates 8: 8th inning implosion

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees drop their second real spring training game to the Pirates.

The Yankees took on the Pirates for their spring training home opener, and an rough outing by Robert Coello in the 8th inning quickly turned a tie game into a five-run deficit.

It was a slow day in terms of Yankees' offense. It wasn't until the fourth inning before the Yankees even had a chance to score. Brett Gardner hit an infield single, then advanced to second on an error by second baseman Michael Martinez, who threw the ball into the camera well. Nothing came of the lead off single, though, as Derek Jeter got out on a chopper to third, and Ichiro Suzuki and Brian Roberts both grounded out to end the inning.

Francisco Cervelli started off the fifth inning with a single to center off of Brandon Cumpton, then scored the first run of the game thanks to an RBI-double off the bat of Kelly Johnson. Russ Canzler hit a line drive to left field, putting runners on the corners, but Mason Williams ended the inning by grounding into a double play. The Yankees tied the game up 2-2 in the sixth inning. With two outs, Ardonis Garcia made it to first base on an error by third baseman Matt Hague. Corban Joseph then worked a walk, bringing up JR Murphy, who wants to be called John Ryan Murphy from here on out (Apparently he had never been called JR in his life until he started playing in the minor leagues and let things get out of hand because he didn't know how to stop people from calling him that). Murphy singled to left, driving in Garcia. Pirates 2, Yankees 2.

Unfortunately, that's where the scoring ended for the Yankees. Jeter couldn't get anything going in his spring training debut; he went 0-2, grounding into a double play in the first inning, then was out in the fourth inning on a chopper to third. Peter O'Brien, who has been hitting impressive home runs over the new scoreboard during batting practice, came up to bat twice and struck out twice.

As far as pitching goes, David Phelps started the game and gave up a solo home run to Gregory Polanco in the first inning. He struck out four batters through two innings. Chris Leroux replaced him in the third and pitched two clean innings. Jim Miller got into trouble in the sixth inning. Jaff Decker started the inning with a double into the gap, then Polanco flew out to deep center allowing Decker to tag and go to third base. Former Yankee Chris Dickerson hit a fly ball out to left that dropped at Jose Pirela's feet and drove in Decker for the Pirates second run. Yoshinori Tateyama was brought in and finished the sixth without allowing anymore damage, then pitched a clean seventh inning with two strikeouts.

Robert Coello came in to pitch the eighth inning, and gave up a lead off walk to Robert Andino. Chris McGuiness followed that up with a single to put runners on the corners. Mel Rojas Jr then hit a 3-run home run to deep right, making that 5 runs for the Pirates. Still no outs. Alen Hanson looped a single into left, which Pirela played on a hop for some reason. Next, Jeff Roy hit a grounder up the middle, and Ramon Flores' threw to third to try to get Hanson, but the throw was too late. Zelous Wheeler then threw to second to try and get Roy, but that throw was also too late. Still no outs. Coello finally did something useful and got Tony Sanchez to strike out. Nevin Ashley came up to bat and was hit by the pitch. Matt Hague singled on a grounder to left, scoring Hanson and Roy. Pirates 7, Yankees 2. Coello finally got pulled out of the game, and Branden Pinder finished off the inning without further trouble. Jeremy Bleich came in to pitch the ninth inning and allowed one more run to score, making the final score 8-2.

That makes the Yankees 0-2 in spring training so far, unless you count the win against the Seminoles. They'll be looking for their first official win against the Tigers tomorrow at 1:05 PM. Adam Warren will take the mound against Max Scherzer. You can check out the box score here.

Oh, and a fun thing that Michael Kay said: Joe Girardi told him that the Yankees are no longer reluctant to have Eduardo Nunez play third base (Uh, why?).

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