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Yankees 10, Braves 6: Huge ninth inning covers for bad start

The Yankee co-ace struggled in his spring debut, but the Martian was there to cover.

New York Yankees Spring Training Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images

It could have gone better for Carlos Rodón. The lefty made his spring debut on Sunday afternoon against the Braves, and he didn’t do much to fool the opposing lineup. Manager Aaron Boone clearly wanted Carlos to get three innings of work in, but Rodón was yanked after two-plus, surrendering five runs on six hits, two of them leaving the yard. As far as the game goes, New York pulled off a comeback in the ninth by tossing a Jasson Domínguez-aided snowman up on the scoreboard en route to a 10-6 victory.

We don’t have Statcast for today’s game, which makes it difficult to piece out whether Rodón was trying something new in his outing, or was just off his game. For all spring training action, you need to take results with a grain of salt, but for veterans this goes double. We don’t know if the Yankee co-ace was trying out a new pitch or release point, and how much that would have affected his start — or if it was a bad game, which happens. Atlanta slugger Matt Olson taking him deep two batters into the appearance dulled some of the excitement I had to see him, but it’s only exhibition ball.

Oswaldo Cabrera continued his strong spring performance, getting the Yankees on the board in the top of the first:

The second Yankee run of the game came on a bizarre sequence, as Billy McKinney took advantage of a pair of Braves errors on a routine single to score on a Little League home run. The presumptive Opening Day starters haven’t exactly lit the world on fire this spring, but the rookies, youngsters, and non-roster invitees have been pleasant surprises.

The game as a whole wasn’t the most exciting you’ll see, even in spring. Entering the ninth down 6-2, as the subs rolled in, it looked like the Yankees might chalk up the rest of the contest and focus on tomorrow’s work.

Jamie Westbrook wanted to make things a little more competitive, clubbing a three-run home run to get his club within one. Atlanta did actually manage to get an out, before allowing two runners ahead of another young Yankee stud:

I want to hone in on this home run for a moment.

The knock on Domínguez as a prospect has been that he can’t reliably get the ball off the ground, playing up his plus-plus power. The big shift that I’ve seen from him this spring is being able to elevate the baseball, getting it up in the air where his MLB-caliber exit velocity allows him to do real damage. Yes, the home run was against a pitcher I don’t even know in the ninth inning of a make-believe baseball game, but every fly ball and line drive off the Martian’s bat gets him one step closer to the majors.

The Yankees put up eight runs in the ninth inning, sealing a come-from-behind win after Lisandro Santos threw the ninth, recording three outs while allowing two baserunners. The club will be back in Tampa tomorrow, hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 6:35pm exhibition affair. Domingo Germán will make his second start of the spring, looking to build off his solid three--strikeout, 2.1-inning outing last week.

Box Score