Originally written on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 2/23/13
Photo: MLB Pressbox New York Yankees 8 — Atlanta Braves 3   Outfielder Almonte shined on offense and defense in the 8-3 win over the Atlanta Braves to open Spring Training.   Early in Spring Training, defense isn’t as solid as you want and for the Atlanta Braves, this was evident. An error by third baseman Chris Johnson put outfielder Melky Mesa on base. Mesa would steal second and advance to third on a passed ball but he would be able to walk home. Outfielder Zoilo Almonte would hit a 2-run home run off of former Angels reliever Jordan Walden with Mesa on third, beginning a 4-run 3rd inning that would contain another of the Braves’ 3 errors of the day. Second baseman Robinson Cano would go opposite field with a home run in the 5th inning. As any Spring Training would go, there was a mass substitution in the 7th inning as the Yankees continued to see what their organization possesses. On 3 hits and 3 walks, many minor league players and Spring Training invitees put on a good show as they put up 3 additional runs. Catcher Austin Romine highlighted the 7th inning with a 2-run single.   David Phelps was tabbed with the Spring Training opener and put together 2 scoreless innings with 3 hits. Phelps was helped out of potential trouble with his defense. In the 1st inning, Freddie Freeman hit a line drive to right field where Zoilo Almonte defended and he showed off a cannon of an arm, throwing out outfielder Reed Johnson, attempting to advance to third from first on the single. In the 2nd inning, Francisco Cervelli, showing he is deserving of the starting catcher’s job, caught Braves’ outfielder Todd Cunningham attempting to steal second base. 6 Minor League pitchers would follow Phelps. Right-handed pitcher Mikey O’Brien took the most damage in his inning of work as he gave up a 2-run home run to Braves designated hitter Evan Gattis in the 6th inning. Right-handed pitcher Brett Marshall also gave up a single run in his 2 innings of work immediately following Phelps.   Win – David Phelps Loss – Jordan Walden   Notables Yankees *Zoilo Almonte – 1 for 3, R, 2-Run Home Run (1) in the 3rd, 2 RBI (2) *Robinson Cano – 1 for 3, 2 R, Solo Home Run (1) in the 5th, RBI (1) Braves *Evan Gettis – 2 for 3, R, 2B, 2-Run Home Run (1) in the 6th, 2 RBI (2) *Freddie Freeman – 2 for 3, R
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