The Red Sox didn't bring any of their starting nine to Tampa, but the Yankees' lefty relievers still managed to lose the game.
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
R - Russell Martin (C)
S - Mark Teixeira (1B)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
S - Jorge Posada (DH)
R - Andruw Jones (LF)
R - Melky Mesa (CF)
R - Greg Golson (RF)
Pitchers (IP): Bartolo Colon (3), Manny Banuelos (2), Pedro Feliciano (1), Boone Logan (2/3), Eric Wordekemper (1/3), Mark Prior (1), Luis Ayala (1)
Subs: Jorge Vazquez (1B), Ramiro Peña (2B), Doug Bernier (SS), Brandon Laird (3B), Gustavo Molina (C), Justin Maxwell (RF), Austin Krum (CF), Jordan Parraz (LF)
Formidable Opponents: If you believe Jason Varitek is going to be the Red Sox's starting catcher, they started one member of their Opening Day lineup. Clay Buchholz went three innings.
Big Hits: Mark Teixeira (1-for-3, 2K) and Robinson Cano (1-for-3) each smacked ringing doubles off Brian Duckworth in the sixth for the Yankees' first run. Cano's hit was his first of the spring, though he also crushed a ball to the left-field gap in his first at-bat only to be robbed by a spectacular Josh Reddick catch. Alex Rodriguez (2-for-3) hit what would have been an easy home run off lefty Randy Williams in the third, but the wind kept it in the park and it fell for a double. Derek Jeter singled and walked in three trips. Jorge Posada walked twice in three trips.
Who Pitched Well: Bartolo Colon retired the first seven men he saw, struck out five in his three innings of work, and allowed just a pair of singles in the third, both of which he stranded. He made good use of his two-seam fastball and changeup and sat 88-91 while hitting 93. His strikeouts came on a pair of two-seamers, a pair of changeups, and a bad slider that Darnell McDonald swung at expecting it to break over the plate only to have it nearly hit him. Manny Banuelos looked even better, retiring the first five men he faced and striking out three in his two innings. He gave up a two-out double to Drew Sutton in the fifth, then walked Jose Iglesias, but came back to blow McDonald away with a 96 mile per hour fastball. Banuelos was sitting 94 and showed a good curve and change, both of which he used when behind in the count, as well as excellent command, unlike Dellin Betances, whose pitches have been impressive but whose command has been shaky. Mark Prior's outing was interesting in that he seemed to improve significantly over the course of a single inning. He came in throwing 88 and finished up sitting 91, he showed a decent curve, but his control wavered. He walked one and struck out two in a hitless frame, but the last pitch he threw was hit solidly into the left-field gap only to have Jordan Parraz track it down for the final out. Unlike Chien-Ming Wang, who was reportedly throwing 83 mile per hour fastballs in Nationals camp the other day, Prior hasn't been completely ruined by his shoulder issues, but whether or not the joint will hold up long enough for him to gain some consistency and a call-up during the season is still in doubt.
Who Didn't: When the Yankees acquired Boone Logan in the Javy Vazquez trade, the appeal was that he was a lefty who threw in the mid-90s, but that velocity has been missing this spring as his fastball has sat around 89 miles per hour. Logan hasn't been killed, but he hasn't been sharp in any of his three outings thus far this spring. Friday night, he ran into trouble with two outs, giving up a run on a walk and a pair of singles before getting the hook. Eric Wordekemper replaced him and gave up a two-run triple (both runs charged to Logan) to Oscar Tejeda before getting the final out. Pedro Feliciano worked one inning during which lefties went 0-for-2 and the three righties contributed a double (by Jed Lowrie) and an RBI single (by Daniel Nava). Like Logan, Luis Ayala got his first two men, then coughed up a run, on a double by Juan Linares and a single by Tejeda. At least Ayala was throwing 94.
Rotation Battle: Bartolo Colon gave himself a nice boost with three solid innings and five strikeouts, though it would have been nice to see him face some of the Sox's actual starters.
Ouchies: Russell Martin caught the first five innings with no discomfort and will catch every other day going foreward, alternating with Jesus Montero and taking the place of Francisco Cervelli who will miss Opening Day with a fracture in his left foot. In his first game action since being hit by an A.J. Burnett pitch in batting practice last Saturday, Greg Golson was wearing the oversized helmet Cervelli abandoned this spring.
Other: David Wells was in uniform throwing batting practice before the game.
Next: The Nationals come to Tampa this afternoon to face CC Sabathia in his second spring start.