A-Rod hits 2nd homer as Yankees down Tigers 11-2
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) Alex Rodriguez snapped a 1-for-14 slump with an opposite-field home run and Adam Warren allowed one run in five innings to lead the New York Yankees past the Detroit Tigers 11-2 Friday.
Rodriguez grounded into forceouts in his first two at-bats, then hit a drive to right off Bruce Rondon. The ball hit a warehouse beyond the right-field fence and bounced back onto the field. Rodriguez charged back to first before the umpires waved him around.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi acknowledged that Rodriguez, who missed the entire 2014 season while serving a drug suspension, was pressing and trying to find a groove.
''He knows how to make adjustments,'' Girardi said. ''He's making improvements every day.''
Warren, 3-6 with a 2.97 ERA in 69 relief appearances, is vying for a spot in the Yankees' rotation. He's 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA this spring training.
''I am feeling good about everything right now,'' Warren said. ''It's a competition still, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself. There's enough pressure, anyway, without me adding to it.''
Warren struck out three and walked none. He allowed a long home run to Yoenis Cespedes.
''I can't be focused on the other guys,'' Warren said. ''But it's human nature to see how they are doing. Still, they are my teammates.''
Tigers: Alfredo Simon, who won 15 games for Cincinnati last year, allowed six runs in the first inning as his ERA rose to 6.75.
''I threw a lot of pitches that just weren't breaking,'' he said. ''I wasn't getting it down, but I have time to work on it. It's just spring training, so it's better that it happened now than later.''
Yankees: Michael Pineda is to make his third start Saturday against Houston. He hasn't allowed a run in five innings.
Tigers: David Price, announced by manager Brad Ausmus as the Tigers' opening-day starter, makes his fourth start, against the Mets in Lakeland.
Yankees: RHP Ty Hensley, the 30th overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft, threw two scoreless innings in a minor league game, three months after being hospitalized for a fractured jaw. Hensley struck out four, walked one and didn't allow a hit in the spring training opener Friday for Class A Charleston, throwing 21 of 34 pitches for strikes against Pittsburgh's West Virginia team.
Tigers: SS Jose Iglesias, recovering from stress fractures to both shins that sidelined him for all of last season, played six innings, his longest stint of spring training. Iglesias is batting .087 in nine games.
SIGN OF RELIEF
Tigers: Joe Nathan, booed in his previous two appearances in Joker Marchant Stadium, pitched his third straight shutout inning and walked off to applause. Joba Chamberlain and Joakim Soria also threw scoreless innings.
RHP Dellin Betances, competing with LHP Andrew Miller to be the Yankees' closer, threw a simulated game, broken down into two innings. He threw just seven of 14 pitches for strikes in the first, when he walked one. Betances retired all four batters he faced during the second, including three on strikeouts.
''I found myself the second inning,'' said Betances, who struggled in his past two exhibition games. ''Just be aggressive.''
OPENING DAY WAIT
With LHP CC Sabathia (knee surgery) and RHP Masahiro Tanaka (right elbow) coming back from injuries, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is not ready to announce his opening day starter.
Sabathia has made 11 opening-day starts, including six with the Yankees. He is to make his second exhibition start Sunday against the New York Mets.
''The thing with CC is, we've taken it slow,'' Girardi said. ''I've got make sure he's ready. A lot of it depends on Tanaka and CC and where they're at. The fact that we haven't announced anything is because we haven't got them built up enough to feel comfortable that they're ready to go.''
Ausmus said that his tentative starting rotation will include Price, followed by Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Simon and Shane Greene.