A ninth inning home run by Gary Sanchez was the only thing keeping the Yankees from being shut out by the Orioles Tuesday afternoon in Sarasota. Chase Whitley pitched three scoreless innings in which he walked three batters and struck out one before being relieved by Esmil Rogers. Rogers, the other potential (and likely) long reliever, struck out two on his way to pitching a scoreless inning. Branden Pinder fared slightly less well, being responsible for two of Baltimore's three runs. Chasen Shreve was responsible for the only other run of the game. Jose Ramirez and Jacob Lindgren completed the day's pitching with the latter living up to his nickname and striking out two batters in the final inning of the game.
The Yankees did manage to pick up six hits against the Orioles' pitchers but failed to score until Sanchez's big fly. Chase Headley led the way with three hits including a double. Mark Teixeira singled and worked a walk as the only other regular to reach base. There were additional scoring opportunities, but those seldom go well when you have Stephen Drew up with two outs and the bases loaded. That went exactly how you'd expect it to. Jose Pirela kept up his hot hitting with another single. He's now batting .462 this spring. With Brendan Ryan's status for Opening Day still up in the air, Pirela could find a way to hit his way onto the team as the utility infielder. Aaron Judge started the game and went hitless, but he did make a very nice diving play in foul territory to make up for the lack of offense.
For those in panic mode about how the presumed starters have hit this spring, today's game isn't going to do anything to bring you back from the ledge. However, the calendar still says it's March 10th. That means there's just a hair under a month to go before Opening Day. The pitching continues to be a strength so far, even if it looks kind of precarious on paper. Maybe they'll be okay? Time will tell.
Boston will visit Tampa tomorrow as the Yankees take on the Red Sox at Steinbrenner Field at 1:05 pm. Chris Capuano gets the start.