Spring training breakdown: Pirates 8, Yankees 2
By Rob Biertempfel
Published: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
Yankees starter: David Phelps began his quest to win the No. 5 starters job with two good innings that included only one mistake. He hung a 1-1 curve and Gregory Polanco launched it over the right-field wall.
Pirates starter: Charlie Morton had a clean outing, hammering the Yankees with one sinker after another. “I threw all sinkers, except for three breaking balls ... and they were all balls,” Morton said.
Goin' streaking: After hitting a homer and single Wednesday, Tony Sanchez doubled in the first inning Thursday. Sanchez's hit parade ended in the fourth when he struck out swinging against ex-Pirate Chris Leroux.
Front and center: Polanco started the game in center field, even though he's in the mix to fill the right field job with the Pirates. “It felt natural,” Polanco said. “I played center field every day during winter ball.”
Decisive blow: In the eighth, Mel Rojas Jr. smacked a thigh-high, 89 mph fastball from RHP Robert Coello high over the right-field wall for a three-run homer. That snapped a 2-2 tie.
Worm burner: Due in part to having ground-ball pitchers Morton and Jeff Locke on the mound, the Pirates turned four double plays.
Stock up: 1B Andrew Lambo made two nice plays, including an athletic stretch-and-grab of a high, offline throw from 3B Josh Harrison. That play sparked boos from the Yankees fans, convinced their hero Derek Jeter was robbed.
Stock down: It was Jeter's day — he got a standing ovation before his first spring game since announcing his post-2014 retirement -- but he didn't provide much sizzle at the plate, grounding out in both at-bats.
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