The New York Yankees were back home at George M. Steinbrenner Field to play the Pittsburgh Pirates. Corey Kluber started for the Yankees, and JT Brubaker started for the Pirates. It was a beautiful day for a game, the game-time temperature was in the high ’70s, and the game was played under bright sunny skies and no wind. The game was televised on the YES Network and MLBN.
After pitching 2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts in his first outing, this was Kluber’s second start of the spring. The Yankees stretched him out today in preparation for the regular season.
Shortly after 1 pm, Kluber faced Adam Frazier, who got a stand-up double off the Yankee starter. Hayes was fanned, a pitch hit Reynolds. Evans hit into a double play ending the half. In the bottom DJ LeMahieu led off against Brubaker lined to the left for a single. Aaron Judge lined out to the right. Aaron Hicks doubled driving in DJ for the Yankee early lead.
Alford struck out, Wolter bunts out, and Gonzalez lined out for a quick second inning for Kuber. Kluber is known for the Kluber elite slider that so many have tried to copy, and he used it several times today. In the bottom, Gleyber Torres singled sharply to left. Gio Urshela, who has recovered from shoulder surgery ground to third with Torres advancing. Gary Sanchez, who has had three homers this spring, ground out on his eighth pitch. Brett Gardner, who is off to a torrid start and has had a Grand Slam, already had a sharp liner to first for a single, moving Torres to third. Back to the top of the lineup, DJ LeMahieu homered to right for a three-run shot. Yankees 4 Pirates 0.
Kluber out for a third inning popped out Cruz, but following that was a Stokes homer making it 4-1 Yankees. Frazier singled. Hayes singled. Reynold flew out to Judge. Frazier advanced to third. Evan popped out in the infield. At the bottom, Rodriguez replaced Brubaker. Judge struck out after a long shot just left of the foul pole. Hicks laid down a bunt that rolled all the way to third base that the Pirates waited to go foul but didn’t. Stanton popped out. Luke Voit struck out to end the inning.
Something that was notable in the game is that the new health protocols separate the players in the dugout from the manager and coaches that sit out on the field behind protective netting.
To start out the fourth, Kluber nailed Alford with a hit-by-pitch. He was hit and the ribs and immediately taken out of the game. Smith pinch ran for Alford. Wolters was thrown out while Smith advanced to second. Smith then advanced on a Kluber wild pitch. Gonzalez ground out but Smith scored for a 4-2 Yankee game. O’Neil Cruz flew out. Kluber finished off four innings giving up two runs, but the Kluber slider was on display. Yankees 4 Pirates 2. Torres flew out to start the bottom. Gio Urshela lined out to left. Sanchez struck out to end the inning.
New York Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman came out in the fifth to get some work in. Stokes struck out, Frazier lined out, and Hayes ground out as Chapman mixed his pitches for a 1-2-3 inning. At the bottom, Gardner struck out swinging. DJ struck out looking. Judge lined out to second to end the 1-2-3 fifth.
The Yankee’s sidearm Darren O’Day took over in the sixth. Reynolds greeted O’Day with a long one over the centerfield fence. Yankees 4 Pirates 3. O’Day had a 1.10 ERA last year and didn’t give up home runs. But today that was not the case. Evans struck out swinging. Smith got caught looking. Wolters struck out while getting hit with the ball. At the bottom, Hicks lined out to third. Stanton chopped out. Mike Ford ground out to first. Yankees 4 Pirates 3.
Justin Wilson took the mound for the New York Yankees at the top of the seventh. Gonzalez struck out swinging. Cruz popped out. Stokes singled. Frazier singled for two on. Hayes popped out for a scoreless frame. Gleyber Torres singled for the second time in the game. Urshela singled on a fielder’s choice. Peraza running for Torres was nailed at second. LaMarre homered driving in two runs making it Yankees 6-3 Pirates. Greg Allen flew out to end the seventh.
On the mound for the Yankees in the eighth was Chad Green for his second game of the spring. In his first outing on Wednesday struck out the side. Swaggerty doubled from a ball that was in no man’s land in right. Castro followed that with a two-run shot over the centerfield fence. Yankees 6 Pirates 5. Smith ground out. Susac flew out. Owen walked. Cruz flew out but the Pirates picked up two runs. Brito led off the bottom and homered hitting the right-field pole. Yankees 7 Pirates 5. Duran singled on a booted ball. Duran got thrown out stealing. Breaux chopped out. Ford flew out to far left.
With last licks on the line for the Pirates, Luis Cessa came in to close it out for the Yankees. Mitchell ground out to Ford. Bae popped out to Duran and Martin reached on a throw to first lifting Ford off the base. Swaggerty struck out ending the game. Final Score 7-5 New York Yankees. The winning pitcher was Kluber, Brubaker was the loser and Luis Cessa got the save.