Thursday, March 20, 2008

Yankees Hold On Despite Poor Performance from Hughes

at Bradenton, Fla.
Wednesday, March 19

Yankees at the plate: With 13 hits through the fourth inning, the Yankees had five starters with a multihit game by the end of the night. Jorge Posada finished with three hits and three RBIs, two of which came courtesy of his second-inning homer. Bobby Abreu had a 2-for-4 night with two RBIs and two runs scored, while both Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui had two hits and one RBI apiece. Infielder Nick Green put New York ahead to stay in the eighth with a towering two-run homer over the left-field wall.

Pirates at the plate: With the wind steadily blowing out to left field, Nate McLouth began a 2-for-3 night with a leadoff homer in the first, his second of the spring. McLouth later led off the third with a double and scored on Freddy Sanchez's one-out single. Ryan Doumit and Chris Gomez each knocked a solo homer as well.

Yankees on the mound: Yankees starter Phil Hughes didn't fare so well for the second straight appearance, leaving Wednesday's game after allowing seven hits and seven runs (six earned) in four innings. And after surrendering just one homer in his previous three games, Hughes gave up three in his first time through the Pirates order. Lefty Billy Traber gave up one hit and two unearned runs in an inning of relief, while LaTroy Hawkins made his sixth straight scoreless spring appearance.

Pirates on the mound: It was not an outing to remember for Matt Morris, who gave up 13 hits and eight runs in four innings of work. Morris had originally been slated to throw five innings on Wednesday. In stark contrast to Morris' outing, lefty Phil Dumatrait was once again impressive, throwing two hitless innings of relief on a night when New York runners swarmed the basepaths. Byung-Hun Kim picked up the loss, giving up four runs in the eighth.

Grapefruit League records: Yankees 10-7-2; Pirates 8-13.

Up next for the Yankees: Right-hander Ian Kennedy will get the call as the Yankees head to Dunedin, Fla., for a 1:05 p.m. ET game with the Blue Jays at Knology Park on Thursday. The heart of the Yankees lineup -- Derek Jeter, Abreu, Rodriguez and Jason Giambi -- will remain behind with the day off. Toronto will counter with right-hander Brett Cecil. This game will be broad casted on the YES network.

Up next for the Pirates: It will be a quick turnaround for the Pirates after Wednesday's night game, as they will make the drive to Clearwater, Fla., early on Thursday to face the Phillies for the fifth and final time this spring season. Ian Snell will take the mound for the Pirates in his first start since signing a multiyear contract and being named the club's Opening Day starter. Also scheduled to pitch for Pittsburgh are Evan Meek, Jaret Wright and Franquelis Osoria.

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