Perhaps the biggest highlight of the afternoon was the hitting show put on by the Yanks’ $180 million off-season acquisition Mark Teixeira.
The new first baseman had two home runs in today’s game, smacking a solo homer into the right-center field bleachers in the third inning and a three-run dinger into the upper deck in right field in the fourth.
Teixeira has finished the spring with a total of four homers, a .433 bating average, and 15 RBI. He knocked in four of the Yankees’ 10 runs this afternoon.
Derek Jeter also hit his first home run in the new Yankee Stadium, belting a three-run home run of his own over the right-center field wall in the third inning.
Along with Teixeira and Jeter, Shelley Duncan clobbered a solo homer to left field in the bottom of the eighth inning, good for his first homer of the spring.
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi was not surprised to see the ball flying around the park today.
“During batting practice, we noticed the wind in the outfield,” he told the YES Network. “The wind was the reason the ball was flying off the bats today.”
In addition to the long ball, the Bombers saw RBI from Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera, who each knocked in one run on the day.
Andy Pettitte got the start for the Yanks today, and put in an acceptable performance. He went four innings, gave up an earned run on six hits, walked one and fanned two.
Pettitte’s only earned run was a solo homer over the left field gate to former Yankee favorite Alfonso Soriano.
“Andy seemed a little better in his last inning,” Girardi remarked. “He didn’t have anything soft going in the first three innings, but got something soft going in the last inning.”
A.J. Burnett took over for Pettitte after the fourth, and puzzled everyone he faced as he’s done all spring. Burnett stretched out four innings, gave up no runs on only two hits, walked one, and struck out six.
“A.J. really seemed to master his craft,” Girardi stated. “He has been really great for us this spring.”
Pettitte picked up the win and finished 3-0 for the spring, while Burnett captured his first hold.
Rich Harden, who started for the Cubs, was not sharp and lost the game, lasting only 3.2 innings, giving up eight runs on seven hits. He walked four and struck out two.
The Yankees concluded the spring with a 24-10-1 record, the best record in the Grapefruit League, and the best record the Yankees have posted in the spring since 1962.
That year, the Yankees defeated the San Francisco Giants to win the World Series.
With spring training over, the Yankees will head into the regular season Monday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. in Baltimore to face the Orioles.
CC Sabathia will be the Yanks’ Opening Day starter and will square off against Jeremy Guthrie.