Phillies fall to Yankees, 4-3
CLEARWATER, Fla. – A day after the Phillies and Braves decided not to play one extra inning under clear skies to decide their exhibition, the Phillies and Yankees went an extra mile Thursday to ensure their marquee matchup would go on as planned.
The Phillies’ hitters then went a little bit farther. Freddy Galvis, Carlos Ruiz and John Mayberry homered, the final two coming one after the other in the fifth inning before the Yankees rallied for a 4-3 win in a game few thought would be played.
With heavy rains falling and more forecast, the Yankees boarded their buses shortly after 11 a.m. for the 18-mile trek across Tampa Bay to Bright House Field.
They packed their bats, their gloves and their All-Stars, if not rain boots.
Before the Yankees arrived, Pinellas County issued a tornado warning, which expired at 12:30 p.m. Just minutes before Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick was scheduled to throw the first pitch, with rain still falling, the game was officially delayed until 2:30 p.m., and the questions started:
Would Derek Jeter, returning from an injury-plagued season, risk playing on a wet field in a road exhibition? Would Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka make his first start?
Yes. And Yes.
Jeter emerged from the dugout at 2:10 p.m., joining teammates in stretching exercises, and the sparse crowd reacted with its first cheer of the day. More cheers followed as Jeter singled in the third inning and doubled in the fifth before exiting.
The Phillies followed suit, not adjusting their lineup. Chase Utley played second base, beside Ryan Howard. Both showed defensive spunk, diving after ground balls.
The Phillies needed their bats, no doubt, considering they had scored just seven runs in their previous five games. Their presence didn’t exactly help, however. Utley struck out his first two at-bats. Howard made contact twice but didn’t reach base until hitting a two-out single to center in the sixth.
Galvis provided the only offense against Tanaka, driving a 3-1 splitter onto the sidewalk behind right field to tie the score at 1. Ramon Flores homered off Kendrick in the top half of the inning to give the Yankees a brief 1-0 lead.
Tanaka and Kendrick had similar performances.
Both pitched three innings and allowed one run. Kendrick struck out two batters; Tanaka one.
Jonathan Papelbon followed Kendrick and struck out two in his only inning.
Mayberry, who leads the Phillies with two home runs this spring, added a double in the seventh. He was thrown out at third, prompting a lengthy replay in which the call was upheld.
The Yankees scored one run in the seventh and added two more off Phillippe Aumont in the eighth to rally for the win.
A.J. Burnett will start for the Phillies on Friday in Sarasota against the Baltimore Orioles.