Sardinha's blast leads Yanks to win
Two-run walk-off homer lifts Bombers to 5-0 spring record
YANKEES 6, TIGERS 5
at Tampa, Fla.
Monday, March 5
Tigers at the plate: Ryan Raburn worked a bases-loaded walk in the first inning, one of three free passes issued by Yankees starter Kei Igawa, and Carlos Guillen was issued another in the second inning. Placido Polanco stroked a two-run double off Steven Jackson in the fifth.
Yankees at the plate: Bronson Sardinha's two-run walk-off homer off Felix Heredia in the ninth kept the Yankees perfect for the spring. Hideki Matsui hit his first home run of the spring in the second inning, blasting a two-run shot to right. Robinson Cano gave the Yankees the lead with an RBI groundout later in the second, scoring Jorge Posada. Alex Rodriguez reached Andrew Miller for a run-scoring single in the third.
Tigers on the mound: Justin Verlander set the Yankees down in order in the first inning, but his second inning became an adventure. Verlander surrendered a two-run homer to Matsui and then fired a pair of wild pitches that allowed Posada to move to third, scoring on an infield groundout. Verlander allowed three runs and struck out one in the 34-pitch, 17-strike effort. Miller allowed one run and two hits in two innings of work, walking one and striking out one.
Yankees on the mound: Igawa struggled in his Grapefruit League debut, allowing two hits and three walks in one-plus inning of work. Igawa struck out three, throwing 40 pitches (38 in the first inning) and was lifted for reliever Jeff Kennard after surrendering a leadoff single to Sean Casey in the second inning. Mariano Rivera made his spring debut in the third inning, retiring Detroit on two strikeouts and a groundout.
Grapefruit League records: Tigers 4-2; Yankees 5-0
Up next: The Tigers host the Blue Jays on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. ET in Lakeland, Fla. Left-hander Mike Maroth is slated to start for Detroit.
The Yankees play the Indians in Winter Haven, Fla., on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m., and right-hander Chien-Ming Wang is scheduled to pitch.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.