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New York Offense Takes Care of Business in Marlins Park Debut

Alex Rodriguez eschews the bat and prepares to hit, <a href="" target="_blank">Donkey Kong style</a>.
Alex Rodriguez eschews the bat and prepares to hit, Donkey Kong style.

Well, this game was probably not what the Miami Marlins envisioned from their pitching staff when they scheduled their first exhibition game in Marlins Park. The Yankees recovered from an early 3-1 deficit, and they knocked Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco out of the game with two outs in the sixth inning after scoring seven runs on eight hits. They scored five runs in the fifth inning thanks to two doubles and four singles. Nick Swisher followed this inning with a long home run into the right field upper deck to lead off the sixth, making the lead 7-4. The Yankees notched seven doubles in the game, one each from Derek Jeter, Raul Ibanez, Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez, Bill Hall, and Eric Chavez. This park looks like it could become a doubles haven, given its wide dimensions. There was really not much to complain about on the offensive side--all of the regulars got a hit except for Mark Teixeira, who struck out twice.

Unfortunately, the pitching was not on the same level as the offense today. CC Sabathia struggled against the Marlins hitters, and he surrendered three runs on four hits in just four innings (he later said he hoped that his son, pitching in a Little League game later on Sunday, would have better command than him). One of those runs came on a second inning homer by Miami native Gaby Sanchez, the unofficial first in the park's history. CC looked a little bit better in the third and fourth, as he faced the minimum six batters, but he left the game trailing 3-1.

Not even Mariano Rivera could escape today unscathed, as he allowed an earned run in Spring Training for the first time since March 15, 2008, snapping his 28-inning scoreless streak. Sure, the rally wasn't fearsome (a couple of singles, a groundout, and a sacrifice fly), but then again, few runs scored off of Rivera are from hard hits. Rafael Soriano also gave up a run on three singles, a rally that was more concerning than the one against Rivera because none of the hits were weak.

Cory Wade is not doing much to disprove the notion that his 2.04 ERA season last year was a fluke. His Spring Training ERA ballooned to 7.71 after a three-run seventh inning that tied the game at eight. Fortunately for Wade, only two of the runs were earned, thanks to replacement second baseman Doug Bernier's throwing error. Fortunately for the Yankees as a whole, the Marlins decided to bring in Chad Gaudin for the ninth inning, and the Yanks promptly greeted their old friend with back-to-back doubles from Hall and Chavez. He later threw a wild pitch to score pinch-runner Ramiro Pena, making the score 10-8. To quote Xavier10, "just like old times." George Kontos and Juan Cedeno ended the game by combining for two scoreless innings.