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YANKS GO DEEP ON RODNEY.....NY Yankees 4, TIGERS 3, Sa 3/21/09
Posted on: 03-21-2009

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>>caption:  RICK PORCELLO
WAS ON DISPLAY SATURDAY<<

@ TAMPA, FL:

    Minor league 1Bman Juan
Miranda blasted a 2rHR (#2)
into the teeth of an incoming
wind to snap a 2-all tie and
give the New York Yankees
a  4-3 Saturday afternoon win over the Tigers.
    Miranda's longball went to RCField in the B-7th off Detroit reliever
Fernando Rodney (L, 0-1).    
    Scoring ahead of Miranda was NYY reserve OFielder John Rodriguez, who
should have been retired on a double-play grounder, but Rodney had failed
to cover 1Base in time.
    All the runs scored against Rodney this exhibition season have come on
homeruns.  
    For Detroit, the day was all about pitching. Prized starter prospect Rick
Porcello was on a pitch count and faced only 12 batters, leaving the game
trailing 2-1 in the B-3rd after he'd allowed back-to-back RBI-2Bs by Melky
Cabrera and Mark Teixeira. Porcello again displayed good stuff including
a hard sinker, although he allowed 4-H & 1-W with 1-K in his abbreviated
outing. The Tigers were cautious with Porcello because he'd missed his
last start due to a cut under his fingernail.
    Attempting to make the staff as a lefty bullpen specialist, Clay Rapada
relieved Porcello and walked a lefthanded batter before getting a double-play
grounder from a righty to end the B-3rd.
    Told before the game he had a near zero chance of making the club as the
fifth starter, and wasn't assured of being the long man in the bullpen, Zach
Miner let the words of Tiger MGR Jim Leyland sink in and then went out to toss
three scoreless relief frames in his best outing of the spring. Miner gave up
3-H with 1-K.
    Kept in camp as a possible alternative to Miner in the bullpen, non-roster
RHP Eddie Bonine allowed 2-H but worked out of as B-8th jam to lower his
Grapefruit ERA to 0.90 in 7-GP.
    The Yankees had pitching on display too. Starter Joba Chamberlain scattered
4-H with 0-W to allow 1-R/1-ER in 3.1-IP with an impressive 5-K. Closer Mariano
Rivera whiffed two in a scoreless B-6th. Although he gave up 1-R/1-ER in his 1-IP,
Edwar Ramirez was credited with the win (1-0). Prospect Zach Kroenke worked
a scoreless B-9th for the save (#1).
    Ryan Raburn drove in a run with a sac-fly to give Detroit an early 1-0/T-2nd lead
and prospect 2Bman Will Rhymes tied the game 2-all with a T-7th RBI-1B. After Miranda
had put the Yankees ahead with his 2rHR/B-7th, Jeff Larish hit a Tiger solo shot (#3)
down the RField line for the game's final run in the T-8th.
    New Tiger catcher Gerald Laird continued his hot hitting by going 3-for-3 to raise
his Grapefruit LGE average to .429. Brent Clevlen went 2-for-4 and Larish 2-for-5.
    Cabrera went 2-for-3 as the only Yankee with multiple basehits.
     The Tigers lost for the second time in three games to see their Grapefruit LGE
record fall to 8-11-1. Detroit is 10-12-1 in all their Florida exhibitions. The Yankees
are now 14-8-1 in Grapefruit games after winning their ninth in a row (NYY's longest
spring streak since 2002).  

    DET     3-11-1, 11-LOB      (L) Rodney, 0-1
    NYY     4-11-2, 8-LOB      (W)  E. Ramirez, 1-0; (S) Kroenke, #1
   
QUOTEBOOK...

TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:   "I think it's probably 99.9 percent that Zach Miner will not be
the fifth starter. I have had that conversation (with Miner), that it was more likely the
way it's going to work out. That's not 100 percent, but it pretty much doesn't look like
he'll be the fifth starter...I think at some point )Porcello will)  be a real special major
league pitcher. It’s pretty simple....We know he’s a big league pitcher. Is it now or is
it later? I don’t know yet.”

TIGERS RHP RICK PORCELLO:   "The finger had nothing to do with anything. I think I found
a rhythm at times, and other times I struggled to get back to it. I’ve got to do a better
job of that.”

YANKEES RHP JOBA CHAMBERLAIN:   "I threw everything for a strike today. It’s getting
better.”

EXTRA INNINGS:

    The Tigers are just 1-9 in exhibition away games, their only victory MAR 15TH vs
Washington at Viera, FL.
    The Yankees won the spring season series from Detroit 3-1.
    After Saturday's game the Yankees announced seven roster cuts, including RHP Phil
Hughes. Projected as a possible fifth starter, Hughes was sent to Triple-A in spite of
a 2.19-ERA in Grapefruit play. Also among the cuts were pitchers Anthony Claggett
and Humberto Sanchez, two of the three players Detroit sent to the Yanks in the
trade for DH Gary Sheffield on 11/10/2006.
    Tiger RHP Jeremy Bonderman, who made his spring debut Thursday night with 2-IP vs
the Braves at Disney World, threw off the mound Saturday "between starts." Bonderman
and LHP Dontrelle Willis will both pitch in a Tuesday intrasquad game at Tigertown on the
third and final off-day of Detroit's exhibition schedule.  
    The Tigers host the Florida Marlins Sunday afternoon in Lakeland In their third of four
Detroit Grapefruit TV games. RHPs Justin Verlander of Detroit and Ricky Nolasco of the
Fish are the scheduled starting pitchers.

WBC:

    Korea clobbered Venezuela 10-2 in the first of the two 2009 World Baseball Classic
semifinals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Saturday night.
    Venezuela fell apart committing five errors, including one by Tiger 1Bman Miguel
Cabrera on a pickoff play.
    Cabrera went 0-for-4 and Magglio Ordonez 0-for-3 with a walk for Vz-WBC. The third
Tiger on the Venezuelan squad, Carlos Guillen, was 2-for-4 with a solo homerun for his
team's final run.
    Slated to be Detroit's new starting LFielder, Guillen played one game at 3Base and the
rest as a DH in the WBC. Guillen hit a trio of tourney solo homers and posted a .313-BA.
Cabrera also hit .313, but Ordonez managed only a .143-BA.
    Tiger RHP Armando Galarraga pitched once in an exhibition vs Detroit and twice in
the WBC during the three weeks he spent with the Venezuelan team. If Vz-WBC had
advanced to Monday night's Finals Galarraga would have been the title game's starting
pitcher.
    Sunday night's second WBC semi has Team USA (which includes Tiger CFielder Curtis
Granderson) vs defending champion Japan.          
   
                                                                    ###


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