Derek Jeter returns to shortstop in the Yankees' win
Andy Pettitte made his spring debut on the mound, Derek Jeter played his first Grapefruit League game at shortstop, and both Ichiro Suzuki and Juan Rivera went 2-for-3 as the Yankees topped the Phillies, 6-2, under the lights.
Making his first official outing of the season, Pettitte gave up one run on four hits in three innings, walking three and striking out three. He worked himself out of jams in the first two frames before finally yielding a run in the third -- but by that point, the Yankees had staked the southpaw to a 3-0 lead.
The Yankees struck for two with two outs in the first, as Kevin Youkilis doubled and an error by Phillies third baseman Josh Fields allowed Juan Rivera to reach and the inning to continue; just a few pitches later, outfielder Ben Francisco, a former Phillie who has been a Yankee for barely 48 hours, made his first at-bat in pinstripes count by lacing a two-run double.
The second inning saw the Yankees strike again with two down, as Ichiro followed back-to-back walks by Gil Velzaquez and Jeter with an RBI single to center, and the Bombers gave the departed Pettitte two more in the third, as a Melky Mesa single drove in Rivera and Matt Diaz later scored on a wild pitch.
The Ichiro-Rivera combo then got the Yankees their final tally in the fourth, as Suzuki singled, stole second, and later scored on Rivera's single.
Beyond that, Yankee pitching was nearly flawless; Cody Eppley struck out two in a perfect fourth, and Mariano Rivera followed his fellow Core Four hurler by pitching a perfect fifth. David Aardsma would give up the Phillies' second run in the sixth, allowing a solo home run to 2012 Eastern League home run leader Darin Ruf, but Jim Miller (2 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 2K) and Shawn Kelley (2 K in a perfect ninth) would shut the door.
The win gives the Yankees their fourth straight Grapefruit League victory, and pushes their record to 7-11 this spring. They will have a quick turnaround for their next game, as the Bombers will cross the Campbell Causeway and head to Dunedin to take on the Blue Jays at 1 p.m. on Thursday.