03/11/09 4:00 PM ET
Offense awakens against Yanks
Sheffield launches two homers as Tigers take it to CC
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
at Lakeland, Fla.
Wednesday, March 11
Yankees at the plate: New York hitters waited out Tigers starter Justin Verlander for the second time in six days, this time for four runs over the first two innings. Mark Teixeira singled in a run in the opening inning, then drew a two-out walk that loaded the bases for Jorge Posada's RBI pass in the second. Kevin Cash added an RBI single, and Nick Swisher had a sacrifice fly.
Tigers at the plate: Gary Sheffield, 1-for-16 in Spring Training games entering the day, took a mechanical adjustment to the plate with him and responded with two home runs. His two-run shot paced a five-run second inning off CC Sabathia, and Sheffield added a solo homer in the fourth. Wilkin Ramirez and catcher Gerald Laird added two hits each, including a solo homer from Ramirez in the third.
Yankees on the mound: Sabathia's second Spring Training start with the Yankees didn't last through the second inning, thanks to five runs on six hits, including Sheffield's homer and three straight singles. Solo shots from Sheffield and Ramirez comprised the bulk of the damage against Alfredo Aceves in his 3 1/3 innings. Brian Bruney fanned two in a scoreless frame.
Tigers on the mound: A second inning that topped 30 pitches helped end Verlander's fourth Spring Training start before he could reach the third frame. His four walks included three in a row in the second, leading to a run before he stranded the bases loaded. Fernando Rodney stranded the bases loaded in a scoreless fourth, and Juan Rincon added two more scoreless innings.
Grapefruit League records: Yankees 5-7-1, Tigers 4-8
Coming up: The Tigers are off Thursday before resuming their Spring Training homestand Friday with a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Mets at Joker Marchant Stadium. Edwin Jackson will make his fourth start of Spring Training, hoping to rebound from a rough opening inning in his last start against the Phillies. Former Detroit hurler Freddy Garcia is scheduled to start for the Mets.
The Yankees get an off-day Thursday to decompress before hitting the road for their first Spring Training matchup with the Red Sox on Friday night at 7:05 in Fort Myers, Fla. Chien-Ming Wang is scheduled to make his third start of Spring Training, opposite knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.