LAKELAND, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers lost to the New York Yankees, 11-7, on Monday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, dropping to 4-5 (with two ties) in Grapefruit League play.
On the first pitch of the game, Tigers left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez fell behind on the scoreboard. He Rodriguez allowed a leadoff home run to Gleyber Torres, who demolished a 92.3 mph fastball for a 415-foot opposite-field blast to right-center field.
“Leadoff pitch fastball, and he swung,” Rodriguez said. “I know he swings all the time. I’ve faced him a lot (in the American League East with the Boston Red Sox), so I know what he does.”
Shortstop Javier Baez, signed by the Tigers for six years, $140 million in the offseason, made a diving catch in the sixth inning. He took away a single from Andres Chaparro (104.4 mph exit velocity) and ended a brutal top of the sixth.
The Yankees scored five runs in that inning for a 9-1 lead.
In the eighth, top prospects Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson showed their talent against right-hander Shawn Semple. Greene launched his second home run of the spring, 360 feet to right-center field, for the Tigers’ second run.
“It was good,” Greene said. “I’m feeling good and seeing the ball well. That home run was, I mean, it felt good, but maybe, maybe the wind took it out. It’s up for debate, but a homer is a homer.”
Torkelson followed with a double (102.5 mph exit velocity) off the wall in the left-center gap. After Willi Castro worked from down 0-2 for a six-pitch walk, Victor Reyes hit a three-run homer to right.
The Tigers still trailed, 10-5.
“Getting the ball in the air, he did it yesterday right-handed in Sarasota,” manager AJ Hinch said of Reyes. “He pulled the ball in the air left-handed today. When he does, he’s big and strong and can hit the ball out of the park.
“He’s a very valuable player. Coming off last season, where in the second half he was very much a productive player, it’s good to see.”
Rodriguez allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts across five innings, throwing 71 pitches (45 strikes). He has one more spring training outing before his Opening Day start April 8 against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park.
“I will be ready,” Rodriguez said.
The 28-year-old kept the Yankees to one run until the fifth inning, when Ronald Guzman hit a two-run double to left field off a 93.1 mph fastball. That put the Yankees ahead 3-1.
Guzman scored on a passed ball by catcher Dustin Garneau, making it 4-1 Yankees. Rodriguez struck out Torres on three pitches, including back-to-back swing-and-miss changeups to put him away, for the first out in the fifth inning.
The Candelario-Schoop-Torkelson combination produced two double plays with Rodriguez on the mound. In the first inning, Schoop showed his range to the shortstop side of second base and made a spectacular cross-body throw to Torkelson for the second out.
“Maybe a couple (of double plays) we hadn’t turned before,” Hinch said. “I think Candy’s picked up his pace at third, which has been an emphasis this spring, and then Jonathan’s a difference maker turning the double play. You don’t have to be perfect with him. He’s a big target. He’s got some arm strength. We need to turn better double plays.”
For his 71 pitches, Rodriguez used 29 four-seam fastballs (41%), 17 cutters (24%), 13 sinkers (18%), eight changeups (11%) and four sliders (6%). He recorded seven swings and misses: two four-seam fastballs, two changeups, one sinker and one slider. He logged 11 called strikes, but none with his changeup or slider.
His fastball averaged 92.9 mph.
“Everything was feeling really good today,” Rodriguez said. “Just in the last inning, I felt out of command a little bit with some pitches, but overall, I felt good with everything.”
At the plate
Faced with an early one-run deficit, the Tigers answered in the third inning against Yankees right-hander Deivi Garcia, a 22-year-old who made two starts for New York last season.
Garneau hit a 405-foot home run to left-center field with two outs in the third, tying the game at one run apiece. He has two homers in seven games this spring.
An efficient Garcia kept his pitch count to 37 and allowed one run on two hits over three innings. Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees’ closer, pitched a perfect fourth inning with one strikeout. Righty Luis Gil tossed in three scoreless innings with one walk and four strikeouts.
Candelario went 1-for-2 with one walk.
On the mound
The Yankees plated five runs in the sixth off right-handers Rony Garcia and Jason Foley.
Foley allowed a three-run homer to Cooper Bowman on a 94.4 mph sinker. Four runs were charged to Garcia, who recorded one out, and one run was charged to Foley, who got two outs.
“It was an unproductive day for Jason,” Hinch said. “He’ll be fine.”
Right-hander Luis Castillo, from minor-league camp, allowed one run in 1⅔ innings. Righty Jacob Barnes replaced Castillo with two outs in the eighth and escaped a jam with a three-pitch strikeout of Chaparro.
Barnes gave up one run in the ninth.
1. Greene, 2. Reyes, 3. Garneau.
Wednesday vs. Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Riley Greene homers in Detroit Tigers’ 11-7 loss to Yankees
Source: Yahoo Sports