Big names for the big Rays-Yanks game
Update 4:57 pm: Other than Price's dazzling debut, the Rays did pull out a victory over the Yankees, 4-1 in a Legends Field-record crowd of 10,869.
Update 3:47 pm What a pro debut for top draft pick David Price. He hits his first batter, but ends up striking out the side in dazzling style, hitting 98 mph several times according to the YES Network broadcast and regularly clocking 95-97 mph according to a scout behind home plate. Price threw 17 pitches, 11 for strikes.
Update 3:13 pm With the Rays up 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, most of the regulars have been replaced. Cannizaro is at short, Aybar at first, Perez in center, Weber in right, John Rodriguez in left. The Yankees appear to be slowly pulling their starters as well.
Update 3:00 pm RHP Scott Munter throws a scoreless fifth, ending it by striking out Jeter looking.
Rays 1, Yankees 0 (top sixth)
Update 2:35 pm LHP Brian Anderson steps on the mound in his first game since extended spring training 2006.
His first batter? ARod.
ARod ripped a sharp grounder to third, which went right through Longoria for a base hit. Anderson stranded ARod at second, getting through his first inning looking pretty sharp.
Update 2:28 pm Garza settled down after the early part of the first inning, and has thrown three-shutout innings against the Yankees (giving up just one hit). Garza struck out four, and other than his walks (3) he looked a little more comfortable.
Rays 1, Yankees 0 after three innings.
Update 2:11 pm Jonny Gomes got the Rays started with a solo homer in the second, a solid shot to right-centerfield.
Garza looked better in the second, handling the bottom of the Yanks order and getting help from Carl Crawford, who made a spectacular diving grab to rob Cabrera of a double.
Rays 1, Yankees 0
Update 1:56 pm Well, Garza sure made the first inning interesting. After loading the bases, thanks to two walks. But after a visit from pitching coach Jim Hickey, Garza settled down, striking out Giambi looking and Cano swinging (on a 3-2 count).
Rays 0, Yankees 0
The first inning? It lasted 38 minutes and 52 pitches
Update 1:48 pm This was not the start Matt Garza wanted. The righthander gave up a leadoff double to Johnny Damon, then walked Abreu and ARod to load the bases with one out. Pitching coach Jim Hickey came out briefly to chat with him on the mound.
Garza, who didn't finish two innings in his spring debut vs the Tigers, is throwing a lot of pitches early. Not enough for strikes. Let's see if he can pick it up.
Update 1:41 pm The Rays put together a threat in the first, with Crawford reaching on a fielder's choice and then stealing second and third. But Mussina retired the side, striking out Floyd for the third out.
Both the Rays and the Yankees will be using lineups for Saturday's exhibition that - with a few exceptions - will look a lot like they may when the teams meet in April.
Matt Garza will start, but most of the attention wil be focused on top draft pick LHP David Price, who makes his pro debut, and LHP Brian Anderson, who pitches in his first game of any kind since June 2006, as he gets to the next stage of his comeback.
Also, RHP Chris Mason rejoined the team Saturday morning after spending two days in North Carolina, attending to his father, who had some health concerns but is now better.
The Yankees are starting veteran Mike Mussina.