Pitchers audition as Tigers beat Yanks' split squad 3-2
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) Angel Nesbitt made a strong case to earn a spot on the Detroit Tigers' roster.
With Justin Verlander sidelined for his opening start and reliever Bruce Rondon sidelined indefinitely, manager Brad Ausmus used seven pitchers in a 3-2 win over a New York Yankees' split squad on Thursday.
Nesbitt pitched two scoreless innings and has a 2.77 ERA in spring training. The 24-year-old righty has never pitched in the major leagues.
''It is nerve-wracking but I can't do anything more about it,'' he said. ''I have just been doing my job. I don't know what's going to happen but I can't wait to find out.''
Joba Chamberlain walked two in 1 1-3 innings.
Slade Heathcott and John Ryan Murphy each had two hits for the Yankees.
Yankees: Starter Bryan Mitchell, who is headed to Triple-A Scranton, allowed three runs and five hits in five innings, struck out six and walked two.
''I think I had a really good spring,'' Mitchell said. ''I couldn't have had a better last game. I learned a lot about maturity on the mound and I realize that I don't have to do too much. Just pitch like I can.''
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jose Iglesias all played nine innings for the first time this year. Each has been hampered by injuries but area expected to be in the opening-day lineup.
HANDLING THE PRESSURE
Yankees: SS Didi Gregorius was 0 for 3 in his first game since he sprained his left wrist diving for a grounder Saturday. He grounded out, flied out and struck out, dropping his average to .279.
''I can't wait to get started,'' he said. ''I've got my timing on, everything works, and it's just time to go. I think I know just about everything I need to know to start the season.''
Tigers: Anthony Gose was 1 for 2, increasing his average to .308. He impressed Ausmus, dashing from first to third on a sacrifice bunt.
''He's a real head-up player,'' Ausmus said. ''He was aware right away that he could take that extra base. He's a player who is aware of what is going on around him. We are a faster team and adding Gose makes us significantly faster.''
Yankees: CC Sabathia is to make his final exhibition start Friday against Washington
Tigers: Anibal Sanchez is lated to make his final spring training start Friday against Tampa Bay.