Hiroki Kuroda looked incredibly strong in his three innings against Team Dominican Republic this afternoon, striking out four batters and allowing only two hits. A few other Yankees had nice days as well, but unfortunately, they happened to be playing for the other team in this particular exhibition.
Yankee prospect Vidal Nuno pitched four hitless innings, allowing only one walk to go along with four strikeouts while getting the start for the Dominican Republic. Robinson Cano drove in a run and Juan Cedeno pitched a scoreless inning for Tony Pena's squad as well. Australian Yankee prospect Josh Spence closed out the game for the Dominican Republic for reasons no one should try too hard to understand. Moving on.
It was not a banner day for Yankee pitching, as Cody Eppley, Clay Rapada, Jim Miller, Tom Kahnle, and Chase Whitley combined to give up seven earned runs. Dan Johnson and his two E5's were responsible for the other run. His errant throw to first base allowed Miguel Tejada to score all the way from first. Really. Johnson and Corban Joseph have combined for eight errors at the hot corner to go along with 22 errors made by the whole team so far this spring. It has been ugly in the field, folks.
The Yankees were no-hit for 6.2 innings until Zoilo Almonte made a push to be the starting left fielder with a two-run home run to end the no-hitter and scoreless streak with one swing. Francisco Cervelli, Melky Mesa, and Dan Johnson all reached base with walks, while Bobby Wilson had the only other Yankee hit with a double that very nearly left the yard. With news coming out after the game that Mark Teixeira will miss 8-10 weeks with his wrist injury, the guys on the fringe of making the team have even more of an opportunity to start the season in the majors if they manage to make an impression over the next few weeks. Hopefully their upside can be rewarded over the veteran presence of Juan Rivera, who was thoroughly unimpressive in the outfield today, or Matt Diaz.
Tommorrow Ivan Nova gets the start as the Yankees travel to Jupiter, Florida to take on Joe Kelly and the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 p.m.