Right fielder Bronson Sardinha, the only Yankee to play the entire game, smacked high fastball from ex-Yank Felix "The Run Fairy" Heredia over the wall in right for a a two-run game-winning homer to extend the Yankees' perfect spring record to 5-0.
L - Johnny Damon (CF)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Jason Giambi (DH)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L - Hideki Matsui (LF)
S - Jorge Posada (C)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
L - Doug Mientkiewicz (1B)
L - Bronson Sardinha (RF)
Pitchers: Kei Igawa, Jeff Kennard, Mariano Rivera, Steven Jackson, Chris Britton, Tyler Clippard, Scott Proctor, Ron Villone
Subs: Josh Phelps (1B), Chris Basak (2B), Alberto Gonzalez (PR/SS), Miguel Cairo (3B), Ben Davis (C), Kevin Thompson (CF), Kevin Reese (LF), Juan Miranda (DH), Melky Cabrera (PH), Brett Gardner (PR)
Opposition: All but two of the defending AL Champion's starters.
Big Hits: Sardinha's walk-off blast (his only hit in four at-bats), a two-run homer by Hideki Matsui (1 for 3) off Justin Verlanderm, and a two-out, full-count double by Kevin Thompson (2 for 2, the other hit a bunt single) off Joel Zumaya. Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter both went 2 for 3.
Who Pitched Well: Mariano Rivera worked a perfect third inning in his spring debut, striking out the first two batters he faced and getting a weak hopper back to the mound from the third. Tyler Clippard, also making his spring debut, hit Brent Cleven in the back of the helmet with a two-out 3-2 pitch and was having trouble getting his curve to drop into the zone in the next at-bat, resulting in a couple of high inside pitches to Brandon Inge and some boos from the Tiger fans in attendance, but he otherwise looked powerful and in command, retiring Inge and the other five batters he faced with relative ease. Scott Proctor looked sharp while working a perfect eighth, getting two quick groundouts and a strikeout and working in his curveball.
Who Didn't: In his Yankee debut, Kei Igawa walked three and allowed two hits, using up his allotted 40 pitches one-batter into his second inning of work. Of course, he also struck out the side in the first amid all those walks, limiting the damage to just one run. Unlike Phil Hughes, Igawa didn't look nervous, he just looked rusty. After the game he said his performance was not unlike his early preseason performances in Japan. Joe Torre added that the balls used in the early part of the game were too slick and that the balls used later on had been rubbed up better. In to finish the second for Igawa, Kennard got two line-drive outs to left field then hit Gary Sheffield and walked two other batters to force in Igawa's baserunner. Steven Jackson didn't make it through his two innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a pair of walks and getting pulled with two-outs in the fifth.
Battles: Josh Phelps only at-bat came with the Yankees down to their last out and trailing by one. His single off lefty specialist Heredia set up Sardinha's game-winning homer. Ben Davis flied out in his only at-bat. Chris Britton got the only batter he faced to fly out.
Ouchies: Wither Todd Pratt? He's been shut down due to an inflamed left heel. X-ray results are expected today. Bobby Abreu will start taking some practice swings with a broomstick.
Health Updates: Andy Phillips' mother has been taken off her ventilator, is breathing on her own, and will undergo surgery on her pelvic bones today, all of which are good signs. According to Andy Pettitte, who has been keeping in contact with his namesake, Phillips "sounds upbeat." Bobby Murcer will not join the YES team for spring training, but still plans to return to broadcasting during the regular season. You can listen to Murcer's conference call with reporters over on LoHud.