02/25/09 4:00 PM EST
A-Rod's power gives Yanks first win
Fourth-inning homer contributes to Grapefruit-opening victory
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
at Dunedin, Fla.
Wednesday, Feb. 25
Yankees at the plate: Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, making his first appearance in a game since his admission of using performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03, belted a two-run home run in his first official at-bat against the Jays. Outfielder Brett Gardner opened the game by drilling an 0-1 offering from left-hander Brett Cecil to right field for a homer. Todd Linden and Juan Miranda each added an RBI single.
Blue Jays at the plate: Toronto shortstop John McDonald drilled a pitch from reliever Jose Veras down the third-base line for a one-out double in the third inning. Three batters later, right fielder Alex Rios lined an offering to center for a sacrifice fly that scored McDonald from third base.
Yankees on the mound: Brett Tomko started for New York and logged two shutout innings against Toronto, allowing just one hit. Veras didn't far as well, loading the bases twice in the third inning. Veras had two strikeouts, walked two, hit one batter, threw a wild pitch and allowed a run-scoring sacrifice fly. Dan Giese turned in one shutout inning for the Yankees.
Blue Jays on the mound: Cecil, who is vying for a spot in Toronto's starting rotation, turned in two decent innings. Cecil allowed just one hit -- Gardner's blast -- and finished with four strikeouts, one walk and 41 pitches (26 strikes). Ricky Romero, also in the mix for a starting job, turned in 1 2/3 innings and allowed the two-run blast to A-Rod.
Grapefruit League records: Yankees 1-0; Blue Jays 0-1.
Up next for the Yankees: Right-hander Phil Hughes will make the start for the Yankees on Thursday as they open their home exhibition slate at George M. Steinbrenner Field against the defending American League champion Rays at 1:15 p.m. ET. Right-hander Wade Davis will draw the start for Tampa Bay.
Up next for the Blue Jays: Toronto will travel to nearby Clearwater, Fla., to take on the defending World Series champion Phillies at Bright House Field for a 1:05 p.m. tilt on Thursday. Right-hander Scott Richmond is scheduled to take the mound for the Jays.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.