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Yankees 5, Braves 4

Eduardo Nuñez stole second base three times on Tuesday. (AP)


L - Brett Gardner (LF)
S - Nick Swisher (RF)
L - Curtis Granderson (CF)
S - Jorge Posada (DH)
R - Jesus Montero (C)
R - Jorge Vazquez (1B)
R - Eduardo Nuñez (2B)
R - Brandon Laird (3B)
S - Ramiro Peña (SS)

Pitchers (IP): Freddy Garcia (3), Dellin Betances (2), David Robertson (1), Andrew Brackman (1), Warner Madrigal (1), Romulo Sanchez (1)

Subs: Jose Gil (1B), Kevin Russo (2B), Doug Bernier (SS), Bradley Suttle (3B), Gustavo Molina (C), Jordan Parraz (RF), Melky Mesa (CF), Austin Krum (LF), Kyle Higashioka (DH)

Formidable Opponents: Half of the Braves' regulars and Eric Hinske, four innings of Jair Jurrjens and most of the Braves' Opening Day bullpen. The Braves didn't use a pitcher who is not expected to break camp with the team.

Big Hits: Curtis Granderson (2-for-3) crushed a Jurrjens fastball to dead center for a two-run triple in the third. That after pulling a home run foul earlier in the at-bat. Granderson also made another impressive ranging catch in center and is now slugging 1.000 on the exhibition season with two triples and two home runs. Jorge Vazquez doubled off Jurrjens in three trips, but struck out in the other two and has fallen behind Granderson with a .944 slugging percentage. In three trips, Eduardo Nuñez singled twice and was grazed by a pitch. Each time he stole second base, but only once was he brought around to score, and that was in part thanks to another steal attempt (see below). Nick Swisher walked and singled twice in three trips, picking up a stolen base on the back half of a failed double-steal (Brett Gardner, who had stolen second before Swisher's walk, was thrown out at third). Ramiro Peña singled twice in three trips, though the second single, which drove in Nuñez, was largely thanks to Nuñez's baserunning as Nuñez took off with the pitch prompting the shortstop to move toward second in the hope of a pickoff and the third baseman to cover third, leaving the entire left side of the infield open for Peña's weak dribbler to trickle through for a hit.

Who Pitched Well: Freddy Garcia was perfect, retiring all nine men he faced, only three of whom hit the ball with any authority (though Jordan Schafer really crushed one to deep right center in the first only to have Curtis Granderson track it down). Garcia got three groundouts, one weak pop-up to shallow left, and struck out two, Dan Uggla on a weak half-swing on a changeup up in the zone and third baseman Shawn Bowman looking on a pitch on the lower outside corner. Garcia's three innings were so clean, he needed to throw in the bullpen to get up to his intended pitch count. Andrew Brackman worked around a first-pitch single showing good command, hitting 96 on the gun, and striking out Bowman on a nasty slider diving away from the right-hander. Warner Madrigal, whom I almost forgot was in camp, worked around a walk for a hitless frame, though he struck out no one.

Who Didn't: David Robertson struck out the first three men he faced, but the first reached base on a wild pitch, he walked the fourth, and after another wild pitch, Hinske delivered a two-run single. How much of that to blame on Jesus Montero I discuss in "Oopsies" below. Romulo Sanchez gave up a run on a walk and a single, though a throwing error played an important role (again, see below). Dellin Betances gave up a run on three hits in the fourth, including a ringing double to the right-field gap by Martin Prado leading off the inning. He was sitting around 92 on the gun that inning, but found his velocity in the fifth, hitting 96 and striking out Alex Gonzalez on a 95 mile per hour heater, working around a walk for a scoreless frame.

Rotation Battle: Freddy Garcia remains a frontrunner, though being last in the spring rotation gives him the illusion of playing catch-up. Dark horse candidate Andrew Brackman pitched well in his first spring action and has time to make a run at a spot.

Ouchies: The Yankees aren't concerned about Greg Golson's sore side from Monday, and expect Ronnie Belliard (calf) to get into a game later this week.

Oopsies: Bradley Suttle's ninth-inning throwing error set up a run. In the sixth inning, David Robertson was charged with a pair of wild pitches on curveballs in the dirt that helped set up a pair of runs. The first was a swinging strike three to Martin Prado. Jesus Montero blocked that pitch, but it rolled up the third base line far enough for Prado to beat Montero's throw to first. Earlier in the game, Montero blocked another pitch in the dirt only to have it roll up the first-base line, but there was no one on base at that time. After Robertson walked Dan Uggla to put runners on first and second, another curve in the dirt got by Montero, who got his glove in the proper position and his left leg down, but still had his right leg up and the ball shot right under it to the backstop. That moved the runners into scoring position, from which they scored on Hinske's subsequent single. In between those two wild pitches, however, Montero did block another curve in the dirt and keep it right in front of him to hold Prado at first.

Next: The Yankees host the Pirates in a game that will be played at 7:05 pm, but not televised.