Vindicator Logo

A-Rod hitless as Yankees split squad falls to Pirates

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla.

Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 2 with a walk in his second exhibition game Friday night, a New York Yankees’ split-squad 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“Some days are going to be pretty good, some days are going to be pretty bad, but again this is just a work in progress,” Rodriguez said. “All I’m looking to do right now is really just square the ball and start hitting the ball with good conduct. I think like any other spring, hopefully week four and five I start driving the ball.”

The three-time AL MVP, who has not played a full season since 2007 because of a drug suspension, operations on both hips and other injuries, received a mixed reaction from the fans.

Rodriguez drew a full-count walk in the second inning against Jeff Locke, had a soft lineout the next time up and then took three straight called strikes from Blake Wood in the seventh.

“The last at-bat, I don’t think I saw one of those pitches,” Rodriguez said, smiling. “I actually feel pretty good. So far, so good.”

Rodriguez had a single in two at-bats and walked once in his exhibition debut Wednesday against Philadelphia. He has been a designated hitter so far, but manager Joe Girardi didn’t rule out Rodriguez playing third base Sunday.

Tony Sanchez and Jeff Decker homered for the Pirates.

“That was absolutely well struck,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said about Sanchez’s two-run opposite-field drive to right. “He’s shown that power to right-center field before.”

UP NEXT

Pirates: A.J. Burnett is scheduled to face Tampa Bay opening day starter Alex Cobb today.

Yankees: Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka, sidelined 21/2 months last season with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, is scheduled for his first simulated game today.

STARTING TIME

Pirates: Locke, bidding for the final rotation spot, allowed one hit, walked one and struck out two over two scoreless innings.