Spring training report
Game: Yankees 11, Pirates 9.
Starter: Phil Irwin -- 21/3 innings, 7 hits, 6 runs, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts.
Top batter: Pedro Alvarez -- 2 for 2, 2 doubles, RBI, run, walk.
Of note: Former Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, now with the Yankees, went 2 for 4 with a home run, a double and three RBIs. Yankees fans have already replaced their "boos" for him with "Youuuks."
News of the day: The Pirates got to see two pitchers -- Irwin and Jeff Locke -- who are vying for a spot on the team in the starting rotation or long relief. Irwin had his roughest outing of the spring in his first start. He struggled commanding the strike zone and once he fell behind in counts, he couldn't be aggressive with his quality breaking ball. "Even when I had a couple 0-2, 1-2 counts, they still weren't very competitive," Irwin said. "I want [hitters] to chase, but they have to be good enough [pitches] for them to chase. It can't be two feet outside." Locke allowed two unearned runs in four innings. He walked one and struck out two. "His changeup became a very effective pitch for him the last two innings," manager Clint Hurdle said. "There was some improvement there. He's continuing to grow and learn."
Buried treasure: Tony Watson threw 23 pitches in one inning of a Class A game at Pirate City, his first outing since Feb. 28, as he addressed mechanical issues and shoulder discomfort. Watson walked one and gave up three hits. ... Wandy Rodriguez helped propel the Dominican Republic into the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic by tossing six scoreless innings in a victory against Puerto Rico Saturday in Miami. Rodriguez allowed two hits and struck out four. The Dominican Republic will play the Netherlands today. ... Former Yankees A.J. Burnett and Russell Martin chatted with former teammates and coaches during batting practice Sunday. "They're good guys," Burnett said. ... A record 8,541 fans watched the Pirates and Yankees play at newly renovated McKechnie Field. ... The Pirates wore green hats, and the field featured green bases in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.mobilehome - pirates