The Yankees played two games today, but could only come up with one win. In his second start of spring training, Michael Pineda had a fantastic outing. Meanwhile, Esmil Rogers, who's in the hunt for the last spot in the rotation, made the start in Dunedin and was less impressive than the box score would have you believe.
Pineda was really sharp this afternoon, and showed that he could be a strong presence in the rotation if he can stay healthy. He pitched three innings without giving up a hit and allowed just one walk to go with four strikeouts. While it remains to be seen who will be the Yankees' closer, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller pitched back-to-back again today. This time Betances had a rough outing. He gave up two ground-rule doubles, and was responsible for Detroit's only run of the game. With Rajai Davis on second, Betances was charged with a balk, which allowed him to take third. Josh Wilson then knocked in their only RBI of the game. Miller, Nick Rumbelow, James Pazos, Jaron Long and Jared Burton all worked clean innings, with only Long giving up a hit.
As for the Yankees, the first run of the game came in the third inning after Mason Williams laced a leadoff triple into right center, and Didi Gregorius brought him home with a sac fly. They didn't score again until the sixth inning. Gregorius led off with a single, which was followed by singles from Chase Headley and Stephen Drew. With Mark Teixeira up at the plate, it looked like he had hit into an easy double play, but Dixon Machado's throw to first was wide, allowing two runs to score. It turned out to be a day full of balks, which contributed to the Yankees final run of the game. After Ramon Flores singled, Slade Heathcott grounded into a force out. He showed that his knee really seems to be fine finally as he not only stole second base, but stole third standing, then scored after a balk was called on Detroit pitcher Ian Krol.
Meanwhile, over in Dunedin, Esmil Rogers made the start for the Yankees and he didn't have a great outing. Though he didn't give up any runs and he did strikeout three batters, Rogers also allowed a double, two singles and a ground-rule double in three innings of work. Overall, pitching just wasn't that sharp in this game. Danny Burawa got himself into a bases loaded jam, but was able to get out of it without allowing a run to score. The only Toronto run came in the sixth inning after Tyler Webb gave up a walk and two singles. Chris Martin, Cesar Vargas and Diego Moreno all made appearances without getting into any trouble.
Yankee bats just couldn't get anything going and only managed to put together five hits total. Jose Pirela was robbed a couple times on outfield hits. Other than a double by Cole Figueroa, the Yankees only hit singles today. After being the only player to strikeout against the pitching machine in the Yankees intrasquad game, Chris Young had himself a decent game, hitting a single and drawing a walk. Alex Rodriguez also managed to hit a long single off the right field wall, while Jacoby Ellsbury and Michael O'Neill had the remaining hits of the game. It looked like the Yankees might sneak away with a tie in the ninth inning after a ball was bobbled, but Tyler Wade ended up being thrown out at the plate to end the game.
You can catch another spring training game tomorrow as the Yankees take on the Phillies at 1:05 pm EST.