Triple play backs CC as Yankees beat Rays 10-2

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CC Sabathia by far had his best start of the season, shutting down the Tampa Bay Rays on a night where Rays starter David Price struggled. Sabathia’s stellar start was made possible with some flashy defense by the Yankees infield, which included a triple play started by Yangervis Solarte in the second inning. The triple play and some extra base-hits propelled the Yankees to a 10-2 win at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida.

Sabathia went seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits while striking out six. Sabathia was able to control a struggling Rays ball club, but he got into some trouble in the second when Evan Longoria doubled and Wil Meyers walked. Following the walk, Sean Rodriguez grounded the ball to Solarte who stepped on the third base bag, threw to second basemen Brian Roberts who threw to first basemen Scott Sizemore for a 5-4-3 triple play. This is the first time the Yankees made a triple play since April 12, 2013 at Yankee Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles and their third since April 2010. CC Sabathia was on the mound for all three triple plays.

The Yankees offense was able to tag David Price with four runs on six hits in the first two innings with a single from Brian McCann in the first, triples by Brian Roberts and Jacoby Ellsbury in the third and a single by Jeter, also in the third. In the fifth inning, McCann and Alfonso Soriano hit back to back home runs, eventually chasing Price out of the game after ..read more

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Yankees turn to Sizemore to play first base

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On Sunday evening when Francisco Cervelli was injured, the Yankees turned to Carlos Beltran to play first base–despite the fact Beltan had no experience at first base. It’s the same story tonight–minus the part where someone gets injured. Scott Sizemore is seeing more playing time, and he’ll see at first base, a position he’s never played before in his career.

“I haven’t been over there enough to really get a feel for the position,” Sizemore said to the media before today’s game. “But I consider myself a pretty good athlete, a pretty good infielder, so I feel like the basics are there, it’s just a matter of knowing my responsibilities on bunt coverage, all that good stuff.”

Despite the fact Sizemore has never played first base in a Major League game, he’s done drills while in Scranton, and not only is he confident in his abilities, but manager Joe Girardi is confident as well.

“We’re pretty confident that he can do it,” Girardi said. “Obviously he has not been in a game and done it, but I’m pretty confident he can do it. … It’s not the most comfortable position to be in, but when you go through injuries sometimes you have to be a little bit creative. I didn’t really feel like putting Carlos back there, so I went with Sizemore.”

The Yankees warned Sizemore he’ll play anywhere and anywhere they need him, and he’s more than ready for the challenge. First base just happens to be the first challenge.

Some Notes:

– The Yankees don’t have a starter for Sunday’s game (notice the TBA in the pitching matchups post), but Girardi confirmed it will be one of the bullpen guys that will make the start. The decision ..read more

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Injury Report: Teixeira, Robertson, Roberts

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Here are a few updates on the injury front of things as the Yankees prepare for tonight’s game against the Rays:

Mark TeixeiraTeixeira played three innings in an extended Spring Training game. For those wondering about Teixeira’s stats during the game, he had two walks and a strikeout. Teixeira reported no problems with his hamstring after the game and should be ready to go when he’s slated to come off the disabled list on Sunday.

David RobertsonRobertson threw 25 pitches off a bullpen mound today and reported no problems. He now plans to play in a minor league game on Saturday, take off Sunday and Monday and get activated on Tuesday when the Yankees play against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway.

Brian Roberts: Roberts is back in the Yankees lineup today after sitting out with back spasms. He received medication for his back spasms on the off day and said he felt fine on Wednesday. Apparently, he was able to convince Joe Girardi he was ready to get back on the field and help his teammates.

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Rumors: Yankees still not interested in Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales

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Mark Teixeira has missed all but four games so far this season, Brian Roberts is day-to-day with a sore back, Francisco Cervelli is on the 60-day disabled list, Brendan Ryan hasn’t played at all since early in Spring Training, and even Derek Jeter has missed three of the last four games.

None of that is expected to force the Yankees to upgrade their infield.

With infielder Stephen Drew and first baseman Kendrys Morales still free agents, the Yankees could easily upgrade too, but a source told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that there is “no way” that the Yankees will sign either player.

“Nobody’s signing Drew or Morales, not at the money they’re asking,” the source told Matthews.

The Yankees spent nearly $500 million to improve the team over the offseason and failed to reach their goal of getting payroll below $189 million as a result. Despite that, they still went cheap when it came to putting together the infield, an infield that had giant red flags that have already come back to bite them in the ass.

Morales has hit .275/.329/.457 over the last two seasons and could help keep Teixeira healthy. Teixeira is expected back as soon as Sunday, but has already been in steep decline and admitted that his seriously injured wrist will never be the same.

Drew would perhaps be a bigger help as he could fill in for Jeter, Roberts (who nobody expects to play even 100 games this year) and Kelly Johnson at third occasionally. Drew hit .256/.332/.422 since 2010 and plays solid defense.

Part of the issue is that the Yankees would need to give ..read more

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Yankees @ Rays pitching matchups

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Thursday, April 17 Yankees: CC Sabathia (1-2, 6.63 ERA) Rays: David Price (2-0, 2.91 ERA) Time: 7:05 p.m. T.V./Radio: YES Network/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Price: Derek Jeter (15-for-51, .294 AVG), Scott Sizemore & Brian McCann (1-for-2, .500)

Who’s Not vs. Price: Jacoby Ellsbury (7-for-33, .212 AVG), Brett Gardner (2-for-14, .143 AVG), Ichiro Suzuki (1-for-6, .167 AVG), Alfonso Soriano (0-for-6, .000 AVG)

Friday, April 18 Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 3.86 ERA) Rays: Erik Bedard (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Time: 7:05 p.m. T.V./Radio: YES Network and MLB Network/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Bedard: Ichiro Suzuki (6-for-15, .400 AVG), Brian McCann (3-for-4, .750 AVG), Kelly Johnson (3-for-5, .600 AVG), Alfonso Soriano (7-for-14, .500 AVG)

Who’s Not vs. Bedard: Derek Jeter (6-for-32, .188 AVG), Carlos Beltran (1-for-8, .125 AVG)

Saturday, April 19 Yankees: Ivan Nova (2-1, 5.94 ERA) Rays: Chris Archer (1-1, 4.50 ERA) Time: 7:10 p.m. T.V./Radio: YES Network/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Archer: Brett Gardner (4-for-8, .500 AVG), Jacoby Ellsbury (6-for-7, .857 AVG)

Who’s Not vs. Archer: Alfonso Soriano (1-for-6, .167 AVG), Ichiro Suzuki (1-for-10, .100 AVG),

Sunday, April 20 Yankees: TBA Rays: Cesar Ramos (0-1, 7.50 ERA) Time: 1:40 p.m. T.V./Radio: YES Network and MLB Network/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Ramos: Mark Teixeira (2-for-6, .333 AVG), Derek Jeter (1-for-3, .333 AVG), Kelly Johnson (2-for-4, .500 AVG)

Who’s Not vs. Ramos: Jacoby Ellsbury (1-for-6, .167 AVG), Brett Gardner (0-for-4, .000 ..read more

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Pineda throws six shutout innings as Yanks beat Cubs 2-0

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Masahiro Tanaka mystified in Game 1 of the doubleheader and tonight it was Michael Pineda‘s turn. He threw six innings of shutout baseball, giving the Yankees a 2-0 victory and a sweep of the twin-bill against the Chicago Cubs.

Pineda was able to pitch in his third consecutive brilliant outing, coming off a controversial start where he pitched with a suspicious gunk on his wrist against the Boston Red Sox. The Cubs advised the Yankees they were going to keep an eye on Pineda’s wrist, but they had more issues with Pineda’s fastball and slider.

The Yankees didn’t hit Travis Wood very hard, but two of the 11 hits ended up with the Yankees scoring two runs. Brett Gardner had an RBI for the Yankees first run in the fifth inning, scoring Scott Sizemore. In the sixth inning, Sizemore singled home Alfonso Soriano, which was Sizemore’s first RBI since 2011.

The Yankees swept their sixth twin bill at the New Yankee Stadium since the stadium’s inaugural season in 2009.

What’s Next?

– The Yankees now travel to Tampa, Florida for a four game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. CC Sabathia will get the start for the Yankees as the Yanks attempt to extend their win streak to five games. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. and the game will air on the YES ..read more

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Tanaka K’s 10 as Yanks shut out Cubs in Game 1, 3-0

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Masahiro Tanaka took the mound for Game 1 against the Chicago Cubs and got the Yankees off on the right foot as he struck out 10 in a 3-0 victory at Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx.

Tanaka went above and beyond, going eight scoreless innings while giving up two hits and striking out ten, breaking Al Leiter‘s record of striking out the most batters in their first three MLB starts; Leiter had 25 while Tanaka has 28.  Shawn Kelley took the ball in the 9th inning and recorded his fifth save of the season while Yankees closer David Robertson sits on the disabled list.

The Yankees scored their first run in the first inning on a home run by Carlos Beltran. In the bottom of the 4th, Dean Anna hit a sacrifice fly to score Brian McCann and in the fifth inning, Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to score Brett Gardner.

What’s Next?

– Don’t go anywhere because Game 2 is coming up at 7:05 p.m.! Michael Pineda gets the start for the Yankees and Travis Wood gets the start for the Cubs. The game will air on My9–and if you see multiple No. 42′s, don’t be alarmed. Yankees are just celebrating Jackie Robinson ..read more

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Yankees vs. Cubs pitching matchups

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Wednesday, April 16

Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 3.21 ERA) Cubs: Jason Hammel (2-0, 2.63 ERA) Time: 1:05 p.m. T.V./Radio: YES Network/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Hammel: Ichiro Suzuki (8-for-20, .400 AVG), Jacoby Ellsbury (3-for-7, .429 AVG), Alfonso Soriano (3-for-9, .333 AVG), Kelly Johnson (8-for-27, .296 AVG)

Who’s Not vs. Hammel: Brett Gardner (0-for-6, .000 AVG)

Yankees: Michael Pineda (1-1, 1.50 ERA) Cubs: Travis Wood (0-1, 2.92 ERA) Time: 7:05 p.m. T.V./Radio: My9 and MLB Network/WFAN

Who’s Hot vs. Wood: Carlos Beltran (6-for-20, .300 AVG).

Who’s Not vs. Wood: Alfonso Soriano (2-for-9, .222 AVG), Kelly Johnson (0-for-5, .000 AVG)

Note: Most Yankees have never hit against Travis Wood.

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