TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees lost to the Detroit Tigers 10-6 today in Lakeland, but there were some positives that came out of it:
PETTITTE'S EXPECTATIONS: Andy Pettitte got victimized by high winds and high cutters at Joker Marchant Stadium, allowing four runs in his 6 1/3 innings, including a home run by Jhonny Peralta, but Cody Eppley, who faced five batters, allowed five hits, including a huge home run Miguel Cabrera, and got charged with five runs, took the loss. Afterward, Pettitte was pleased with his performance -- "Everything was good, right where I wanted it. I made some bad pitches I left up in the zone, but for the most part I was pretty happy with it.”
But he's even more pleased with the Yankees' chances to repeat as AL East champions.
“We’re the division champs," he said. "I expect us to win the division. We came four games away from going to the World Series last year; that’s a pretty good year. We have a lot of pieces coming back and hopefully we can do what we want to do and that’s getting to the World Series.”
BIG BEN'S DAY: Ben Francisco, in the final days of trying to win a job in the Yankees outfield, made the most of it, hitting a pair of home runs, a solo shot in the fourth off starter Anibal Sanchez and a two-run HR off Bruce Rondon in the eighth. The Yankees also got offensive contributions from Kevin Youkilis (2-for-4, 2-RBI double), Eduardo Nunez (2-for-4, RBI) and Juan Rivera (3-for-4).
BRETT'S BOILER: Not so good. Brett Gardner left the game after five innings with an upset stomach caused, Joe Girardi said, by something he ate on Friday. Gardner should be fine by tomorrow.