Yankees 2, Tigers 1

Alex Rodriguez ended his strong spring training with a patient

at-bat that resulted in another RBI.

Rodriguez drove in his 15th run of the exhibition season with a

base-loaded walk, Freddy Garcia allowed one run in 4 2-3 innings

and the New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 2-1 on

Tuesday.

”Alex’s spring was unbelievable, there’s no other way to really

describe it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

A-Rod, who had six homers and hit .388, drew the run-scoring

walk off Rick Porcello in the third inning. Garcia, the Yankees’

fifth starter, gave up four hits and struck out three.

Detroit and New York open the regular season Thursday at Yankee

Stadium.

”I think we’re all ready to go, for sure,” Porcello said.

”This is going to be an exciting opening series, to play these

guys. I think it will be an early test for us to see what we’re

made of.”

The Yankees still have several decisions to make, including who

will be the leadoff hitter in some games. Girardi said Derek Jeter

will bat first against left-handed starters.

That could leave Brett Gardner to lead off against righties.

”If Gardner were to lead off against righties, Jetes will lead

off with lefties,” Girardi said. ”You can bank on that.”

Porcello allowed one run and four hits over 5 1-3 innings.

Brennan Boesch hit a solo homer.

The Tigers and Yankees are scheduled to work out Wednesday in

New York.

”I thought we accomplished pretty much everything we wanted to

do,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ”I think we got the

regulars ready to go. I think we’re ready to start the season.

Overall, I’m very tickled with it. Another spring training behind

us and it’s now time to move forward.”

Leyland is not concerned about the cooler conditions for the

opener.

”We know it’s, probably, going to be 40 degrees colder,”

Leyland said. ”It’s going to be colder in New York and anybody

doesn’t think it’s going to be, they’re crazy. That’s why I got a

sweater.”

Tuesday’s game was the Tigers’ only visit to George Steinbrenner

Field this year.

”I think everybody makes too much of that,” Leyland said ”I

think you play the game and you don’t do anything different. We’re

not hiding anything. That’s the thing about baseball … you hit

it, you throw it, you catch it, you throw it to the right base.

There’s no trick stuff involved. It’s just the schedule. That’s the

way you look at it.”

New York center fielder Curtis Granderson, out with a strained

muscle on his right side, got seven at-bats in a simulated game. If

he gets through a minor league game Wednesday without any setbacks,

the Yankees are hopeful he will be ready for opening day.

”Everything felt good,” Granderson said. ”Now I feel good

about Thursday.”

NOTES: Rodriguez went to the ground to avoid a high-and-inside

pitch from Porcello in the sixth. … New York LHP Pedro Feliciano

(sore left upper arm) said he won’t resume throwing for eight days,

then will go from there. Girardi expects the reliever to miss at

least three weeks. … New York No. 4 starter Ivan Nova will pitch

in a minor league game in Florida on Wednesday. … Yankees RHPs

Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera, Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson

all pitched in simulated games.