The Yankees took the field on Saturday afternoon in search of their fourth straight win and when the dust settled they got what they were looking for. Corey Kluber pitched for the first time in a game that was televised to those in the New York market and after four solid innings he turned it over to the bullpen arms who held on as the Yankees walked out with a team 7-5 win.
Hicks Continues to Hit
After a leadoff single from DJ LeMahieu and a sharp lineout from Aaron Judge outfielder, Aaron Hicks ripped a fastball into the right-center field gap. LeMahieu would score on the play to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead. While it looked like the Yankees were going to chase starter JT Brubaker early he was able to strike out the next two batters and limit the damage.
LeMahieu Launches One in the 3rd to Extend Yankees lead
Young shortstop Gleyber Torres would lead off the Yankees half of the third inning with a single. While things were looking promising for a big offensive inning back to back groundouts almost took the wind out of the Yankees’ sails. This was until Brett Gardner continued his hot start to the spring with an infield single. This brought last year’s American League batting champion to the plate with runners on the corners and two out. On an 0-1 pitch infielder, DJ LeMahieu connected with a fastball out over the plate and drove it over the right-field wall for a three-run homer.
Green and Wilson Struggle with Command
With the news of left-hander Zack Britton being on the shelf for at least the first month of the season, the Yankees are looking for someone to temporarily replace him in the back half of the bullpen. Two of the leading candidates for that position Chad Green and Justin Wilson both pitched in Saturday’s game.
Both pitchers had outings that were fairly difficult to gauge. They both had some issues with their command as they fell behind some hitters. Wilson allowed two baserunners one as a walk and one as a little bloop single. Green had the same issues during the first half of the inning. The only difference came with the type of contact he gave up. Green allowed two extra-base hits. One being a double to Travis Swaggerty and the other being a long home run to Rodolfo Castro. However, Green would get the next three batters 1-2-3. He still struggled with the command of his fastball. However, his curveball was coming out of his hand with exceptional movement
Cessa Closes it Out for a Yankees Win
After a home run from Socrates Brito in the bottom of the 8th manager, Aaron Boone handed the ball to Luis Cessa to close the game out. He did just that using his slider and changeup to make the Pirates hitters look silly. It was overall a good game that should leave fans excited about what this team can do come opening day.