After a few anemic days, the Yanks’ offense erupted for 12 hits and 12 runs this afternoon in Lakeland as the team’s pitchers held the Tigers’ bat in check. The Yanks emerged with a 12-3 victory, just their second in the month of March.
Leading the Yanks’ bats were Angel Berroa, Xavier Nady and Jose Molina. Nady and Berroa homered, and Molina added a pair of RBIs. Berroa also doubled and drove in four runs. However, Cody Ransom — 2 for 2 on the day — is the current heir apparent to the third base job. The Yanks also drew ten walks — three by Nick Swisher and two each by Molina, Melky Cabrera and Hideki Matsui.
On the other side of the ball, the Yanks’ pitching was again stellar. A.J. Burnett made his spring debut and sailed through two innings. He gave up one hit and a whole bunch of zeroes. Phil Hughes relieved Burnett and was spectacular. In three innings of work, he allowed a nary a hit while striking out four and walking two.
Brian Bruney and Andrew Brackman ran into some trouble later in the game, but Mark Melancon nailed down the final three outs on a walk and a strike out to seal the deal for the Yanks. At some point, the Yanks will have to start considering Mark Melancon as a viable bullpen option out of the gate. He’s been nearly untouchable this spring.
The Yanks will face the Blue Jays tomorrow afternoon at 1:15 p.m., and the team’s next televised game is Tuesday evening under the lights.
In WBC action, Cuba downed the Republic of South Africa this afternoon 8-1. As of this writing, Panama, behind Ramiro Mendoza (!), is down 3-0 in an elimination game for the loser. At 8 p.m., the US will take on Venezuela as Roy Oswalt will attempt to pitch the US into the second round. That game is on ESPN. It’s the return of Sunday Night Baseball.
Here’s your open thread for the night. Play nice.