Spring Training Baseball
Yankees 8, Blue Jays 2
Carlos Beltran homered for his first hit this spring, leading the New York Yankees past the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday at Dunedin, Fla.
Jose Bautista hit his second homer in exhibition play for the Blue Jays.
Beltran's solo home run came in the third off reliever Todd Redmond and landed far over the right-field fence. It capped a four-run inning that included a two-run homer by Eduardo Nunez.
Beltran signed a three-year, $45 million contract with the Yankees in the offseason. He batted .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs with the St. Louis Cardinals last year.
"You want to see guys swinging the bat well, obviously, but it's really important at the end," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
"It doesn't really matter sometimes. You can be swinging the bat horrible at the end of spring training and get off to a hot start and vice versa. But it's always nice to see."
Bautista connected off Vidal Nuno in the first. Nuno struck out three and gave up two hits in two innings.
Toronto starter Esmil Rogers tossed two innings and allowed an earned run. The right-hander gave up three hits and struck out one.
Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion, Melky Cabrera and Adam Lind each doubled for the Blue Jays.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter did not play.
Girardi said first baseman Mark Teixeira, limited to 15 games last season because of a right wrist injury, might play in his first spring training game on Thursday or Friday. Alfonso Soriano, recovering from flu-like symptoms, went through a workout Sunday morning that included batting practice and defensive drills. The outfielder/designated hitter could play in his first exhibition game in the next few days.
Yankees fifth starter candidate Michael Pineda, who missed the past two seasons after right shoulder surgery, threw 21 of 35 pitches for strikes in a simulated game. He faced 10 batters, allowing two hits, striking out one and walking his final two hitters. Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda are scheduled to pitch in Friday's game against the Tigers in Tampa.
Cardinals 7, Mets 1
Matt Holliday doubled in both at-bats and drove in two runs for St. Louis in a win over New York at Jupiter, Fla.
Holliday's first double came off starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who's competing for the fifth spot in the Mets' rotation.
"I gave up a run in the first inning today, but I think all my pitches are very good at this point of the year except for my slider. I think that needs a little bit more work," Matsuzaka said through a translator.
Mets manager Terry Collins liked what he saw out of Matsuzaka's first spring start. Collins said the chase for the fifth spot in the starting rotation will likely come down to Matsuzaka or John Lannan.
Matsuzaka began last season in the Cleveland minor league system before being granted his release. He sidestepped a question about his willingness to play in the minors again, saying, "I'll think about that if that happens."
Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada was scratched from the lineup after he experienced a tight left hamstring during pregame workouts. Collins said Tejada was held out as a precaution. Tejada will not play in today's game against Atlanta, either.
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