Tigers 3, Yankees 3
A day after making New York’s opening-day roster, Phelps finished spring training with his fourth home run as New York played a 3-3 tie with the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
“That would be a pretty exciting opportunity, to start opening day for the Yankees,” Phelps said.
Mientkiewicz, a left-handed hitter who batted .274 against lefties last year, said not starting Monday would be a disappointment. On opening day last year, when he was with Kansas City, he struck out in his first two at-bats against Detroit left-hander Kenny Rogers.
“Of course I want to play,” Mientkiewicz said. “It will hurt. But I’ve never played on a team this good.”
Kei Igawa gave up three runs and six hits over six innings. The Japanese left-hander is scheduled to make his major league debut Friday at Yankee Stadium against Baltimore.
“I’m very excited,” Igawa said through an interpreter. “My goal is not to walk as many batters.”
Igawa walked 12 in 23 innings during spring training but none Saturday.
Tigers starter Mike Maroth allowed three runs and seven hits in four innings. Wilkin Ramirez had a two-run single in a three-run fourth.
Detroit will be without reliever Jose Mesa for the first two games of the regular season against Toronto. Mesa must serve a suspension stemming from a game last Sept 19 when he hit San Francisco’s Mark Sweeney with a pitch while pitching for Colorado.
“I hit a guy 0-2. They gave me a two-game suspension,” Mesa said. “I don’t even know the guy. They said I have a history with San Francisco. I don’t know why they would say that.”
Mesa, who appealed the original three-game suspension in September, said the matter recently was resolved. He gave up one hit Saturday during a scoreless fifth.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera walked his first batter of the year and had two strikeouts in a shutout ninth. Over 10 scoreless innings in the exhibition season, he gave up four hits—including two broken-bat singles and an infield hit. He struck out 11.
“He was ready to go five or six days ago,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Stephen Swindal was at the game but did not speak with reporters. His wife, Jennifer Steinbrenner, a daughter of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, filed divorce papers against him earlier in the week. Swindal had been designated to be Steinbrenner’s successor but that now appears to be unlikely. … The Yankees and Tigers both have scheduled workouts at home Sunday in preparation for season openers Monday. … Most of the Tigers’ regulars left after getting one at-bat. The New York starters exited after two at-bats. … New York RHP Jeff Karstens (right elbow stiffness) threw off a half-mound. He will remain in Florida to continue his rehab. … Yankees RHP Chien-Ming Wang (pulled right hamstring) said he will throw off a half-mound for the second time Sunday. He is expected to be out until at least late April. … New York LHP Andy Pettitte, who pitched for the first time in a minor league Friday since being sidelined by back spasms March 17, reported no problems and resumed his full off-day workout program. … Yankees INF Miguel Cairo said he was fine after getting spiked in the right knee on a play at second. … Agent Scott Boras said LHP Ron Villone hadn’t decided whether to go to Triple-A Scranton after failing to make the opening-day roster. “We’re still talking to the Yankees and some other teams,” Boras said.