Yankees battle to first tie of spring against Tigers
TAMPA -- The Yankees officially have their first tie of the spring, finishing Tuesday's game with the Tigers in a 2-2 deadlock after nine innings at Steinbrenner Field.
CC Sabathia had an up-and-down outing in his second spring start, getting charged with one run on four hits over four innings. However, CC was in trouble in two of those innings, escaping first-and-second, one-out jams in both the second and fourth innings, and the one run came courtesy of Leonys Martin's solo homer in the third.
On the other side, Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann was nearly perfect, allowing just two hits -- both coming consecutively in the third inning -- over his five frames, and he was bailed out of his lone jam by inducing a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Brett Gardner.
Detroit's bullpen then retired six in a row after Zimmermann left, but it all came together for the Bombers in the eighth. Didi Gregorius led off with a solo homer to tie it at 1-1, and Aaron Hicks followed with a single; a pair of one-out walks later loaded the bases, and Shane Robinson drove in Hicks with a Baltimore chop grounder that was too tough to turn two on, resulting instead in a 5-4 fielder's choice and an RBI for Robinson.
Unfortunately, the Yankees' bullpen, which was very strong through four innings, couldn't hold it together in the ninth. JaCoby Jones singled to lead off the inning, and after moving to second on a Gio Gallegos wild pitch, Jones scored on a Victor Reyes single when Estevan Florial's throw to the plate from center field was way wide of the mark.
The Yankees tried to rally in the ninth, getting Jeff Hendrix to third with no one out on a walk, a stolen base and an error, but Buck Farmer got two straight strikeouts and then, with Tyler Wade also aboard after a walk, got Florial to ground out to end the game.
Offensively, the Yankees had just four hits on the day: Gregorius' homer and Hicks' single in the eighth, and the back-to-back singles by Adam Lind and Gleyber Torres in the third. Lind and Torres also drew a walk each, both of those coming in the eighth, and Hendrix and Wade both walked in the ninth.
On the mound behind Sabathia, it was four zeroes from four minted relievers -- Adam Warren (one walk, one strikeout) in the fifth, Aroldis Chapman (one hit, two K's) in the sixth, David Robertson (one hit, one K) in the seventh and Chad Green (one hit, one K) in the eighth -- before Gallegos was charged with one run on two hits (with two strikeouts) in the ninth.
The tie gives the Yankees an 11-6-1 record this spring, and they'll look to snap what is now a three-game non-winning streak Tuesday, when Chance Adams will start against the Orioles in a 1:05 p.m. game in Sarasota.