The Yankees won their fifth straight Grapefruit League game on Thursday night, beating the Red Sox 3-2 in Fort Myers. They’ve outscored their opponents 25-7 during the five wins. Frankie Cervelli hit another homer, this one a solo shot. The other two runs came after the team had two outs and the bases empty thanks to a walk (Zoilo Almonte), a bloop double (Zelous Wheeler), and a two-run single (Ichiro Suzuki). Ichiro, Dean Anna, and Eduardo Nunez all went 1-for-4 while Mark Teixeira went 0-for-3 with a walk.
David Phelps continued to make his case for the fifth starter’s spot with a strong outing, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out three. The two runs came across as he approached his pitch limit in his final inning of work. Chris Leroux retired all four men he faced, Fred Lewis retired two of three batters faced, and Matt Daley retired all three he faced for the all-important Spring Training save. Here’s the box score, here are the video highlights, and here’s the rest from a slow day in Tampa.
- Joe Girardi indicated the Yankees could make a decision about the fifth starter’s spot as soon as this weekend. “We have a night game (Friday), so we could have some discussions. And we have a home game Sunday, we could have some discussions. And maybe we’ll make the decision by then,” he said. Have to think it’s Michael Pineda’s job at this point. [Brendan Kuty]
- Brendan Ryan was scratched from tonight’s lineup with upper back spasms unrelated to his previous oblique injury, and after the game both he and Girardi said they are concerned he won’t be healthy in time for Opening Day. Ryan has only played in four games this spring and the start of the season if only eleven days away. [Sweeny Murti, Dan Barbarisi]
- If Ryan is not ready for Opening Day, the Yankees will carry two of Nunez, Anna, and Yangervis Solarte. Sounds like Scott Sizemore, who hasn’t played much and is nursing a quad injury, is out of the running for a bench spot. Nunez and Anna are both on the 40-man roster, which could give them a leg up. [Bryan Hoch]
- In case you missed it earlier, a precautionary MRI on Jacoby Ellsbury’s calf came back negative and he is still day-to-day.
The Yankees will play another night game on Friday, this one against the Pirates in Tampa. CC Sabathia will be making his fourth Spring Training start (well, fifth counting his simulated game a few weeks ago) and I assume most of the regulars will play. Not sure who will be on the bump for Pittsburgh. Doesn’t matter, really.