Even though spring training games are meaningless, you hope for some action to make them enjoyable as we wait for real baseball to return. Tonight didn’t provide much in the way of excitement, and most of it wasn’t good for the Yankees. They dropped the game to the Braves by a score of 3 — 1.
With the score tied at one in the seventh inning, the Braves got base hits from Preston Tucker and Charlie Culberson to put a runner in scoring position. Carlos Franco capitalized, hitting a ground ball out to right field to score Tucker. The throw from right fielder Billy McKinney was off, and allowed Culberson to tack on an additional run while Franco took third base.
The Yankees had tied the game in the previous inning, when Gary Sanchez punched a 1-1 offering from Arodys Vizcaino out of left field. The shot was Sanchez’s second home run of the spring, his first being a mammoth blast over the Steinbrenner Field sign. Outside of Sanchez’s two hits, the rest of the Yankees’ lineup combined for just one hit, a single by Aaron Hicks to center.
Greg Bird had a particularly rough night at the plate. The Yankees first baseman struck out three times in four at-bats, flying out to center field the other time. Bird stranded seven runners over the course of the game, continuing a slump in the early going of spring.
Sonny Gray was sharp in his second outing, tossing 3.2 innings while striking out three batters. He only allowed one hit, a single off the bat of Tyler Flowers to left. He was relieved in the fourth by Tommy Kahnle, who struck out Ryan Schimpf to end the inning. Kahnle would then allow the Braves first run of the game the next inning on a double to Tucker.
The Yankees will head back home and play the Mets tomorrow at 1 p.m. The game will be televised on YES and MLB Network.