CLEARWATER, FL - The Yankees were two outs away from falling to the Phillies in Instructional League action on Tuesday but Charleston catcher Eduardo De Oleo came off of the bench to provide the biggest hit of the game to help lead the Yankees to a 5-3 victory.
He didn't start the game nor did he look particularly good in his first at-bat, striking out swinging on a ball out of the zone, but when his team needed him the most Eduardo De Oleo provided the biggest hit when he hit a titanic three-run home deep over the left field wall to help erase a 3-2 deficit at the time in the 9th inning.
He only pitched one inning in Tuesday's victory but reliever Jacob Lindgren made mincemeat of the Phillies, setting down all three batters he faced in extremely quick fashion. Sitting mostly 91-94 mph with some wicked movement to his fastball, it was his plus changeup that allowed him to strike out a pair of batters [it would have been three had a batter not barely rolled over on an 0-2 pitch for a ground out]. The changeup was really bottoming out big-time.
Yankee Starting Lineup: Hoy Jun Park, Dermis Garcia, Angel Aguilar, Juan De Leon, Leonardo Molina, Thairo Estrada, Luis Torrens, Drew Bridges, Reymundo Moreno, and Carlos Vidal.
Catcher Luis Torrens [2-3, K, HBP] scored one of the three runs driven in by De Oleo after he singled hard to centerfield in the ninth inning. He had previously singled sharply to left field two innings earlier.
Lindgren wasn't the only left-handed Yankee pitcher looking sharp on Tuesday; Tyler Webb also struck out a pair of batters in one scoreless 1-2-3 inning of relief. Sitting mostly 90 mph with his fastball, he was filling the zone with strikes and showing a good breaking ball-changeup combination as well.
The Yankees had only one other extra-base hit in the game aside from De Oleo's blast, a scorching double to left-centerfield that one-hopped the wall from Thairo Estrada [2-4, RBI]. Playing an excellent second base the past two games, he had earlier singled sharply to left field and even his two outs were deep fly outs. He drove home the first Yankee run on the double, scoring Leonardo Molina [0-2, K, BB].
Right-hander Rookie Davis got the starting nod for the Yankees but was only scheduled to go one inning. He too had a 1-2-3 quick inning. He sat mostly 92 mph with his fastball and didn't have to throw much in the way of secondary pitches due to retiring the side as quickly as he did.
Shortstop Hoy Jun Park, one of the top International free agents, had a solid showing in the victory. After striking out pretty quickly with his inability to initially catch up to some hard heat [95 mph plus] in his first at-bat, he made the adjustment, singling sharply to right field in each of his next two at-bats, one of which was an RBI single that scored first baseman Drew Bridges [0-2, 2 K's, 2 BB's, 2 runs]. Bridges by the way made two very impressive defensive plays in the game, one of which was a diving stab to his left to rob a would-be double down the line.
Right-hander David Palladino was the beneficiary of the great Bridges' defensive play as well as another from third baseman Angel Aguilar [0-3, BB, K] who made an incredible leaping catch to rob a line-drive hit seemingly destined for left field. Palladino, sitting mostly 89-91 mph, is showing signs of controlling his curveball better and struck out three batters in three innings.
Dermis Garcia [0-4], Juan De Leon [0-2, BB, HBP], and Carlos Vidal [0-2] each struck out twice in the game. Jonathan Amundary [0-2] also went hitless but he looked much better in the process, lining out sharply to both right field and third base in his only two plate appearances.