Marlins fall to Yankees in new Marlins Park
MIAMI (AP) — Marlins Park is just about ready. Same goes for CC Sabathia.
Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher each had two hits, Robinson Cano drove in two runs and the New York Yankees beat Miami 10-8 on Sunday in the first exhibition between major league clubs at the Marlins’ new $515 million ballpark.
Sabathia tuned up for Friday’s opening day start at Tampa Bay, allowing four hits and three runs in four innings.
“He didn’t feel great today,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s physically a little bit under the weather. I think it’ll be there when the bell rings. I really do.”
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera worked one inning, allowing his first a spring training earned run since March 15, 2008.
Giancarlo Stanton had two hits and two RBIs and Gaby Sanchez homered for the Marlins, who host the Yankees again Monday, the stadium’s last rehearsal before Wednesday’s season-opener against St. Louis.
Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco gave up eight hits and seven earned runs in 5 2-3 innings, his spring ERA rising to 5.47. He yielded five runs and six hits in the fifth inning.
“One bad inning,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. “But besides that, pretty good.”
Logan Morrison, Austin Kearns and John Buck had two hits apiece for Miami, which hadn’t scored or allowed as many runs in any game this spring before Sunday.
“I think if they left CC out there a little longer I don’t think we would have scored eight runs,” Morrison said. “He’s pretty good.”
Jeter doubled off Nolasco on the game’s first pitch and Swisher hit his first homer of the spring. And Sabathia, who he had difficulty locating his fastball, pronounced himself ready for the season.
“Always the biggest issue for me is my fastball command,” Sabathia said. “It wasn’t there today, but there’s no reason for me to feel like it won’t be there Friday.”
The Yankees went ahead for good when Bill Hall led off the ninth with a double off Chad Gaudin and scored one batter later on Eric Chavez’s double. Pinch-runner Ramiro Pena later scored an insurance run on a wild pitch.
It was the fourth event in the building, preceded last month by a high school game and then Marlins games against two college opponents.
A painter applied another coat of white to a column outside the ballpark before fans arrived. Underneath the stadium, pallets with supplies were scattered about. Outside the Marlins’ clubhouse, a team logo awaited installation. And the 450-gallon aquariums behind home plate needed a pregame scrubbing.
So far, there are about 35 fish in each. Soon, that will probably double, said Kevin Mathis of Living Color Aquariums.
“Very unique and distinctive, that’s for sure,” Mathis said, though Sabathia said he didn’t notice the fish from the mound.
One complaint from the Yankees: Swisher didn’t care for the infield dirt.
“Like running in sand,” said Swisher, who raved about the park otherwise.
For Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez — a Miami native — the day was particularly special. Rodriguez played two games in 2009 at the Marlins’ former home, 16 miles north of the new ballpark, but said Sunday was different.
“This is our neighborhood,” said Rodriguez, who went 1 for 2. “It’s also spring training so you don’t have to go out there and put your game face. You get to go out there and really enjoy this and take it all in.”
A few minor glitches popped up. A pair of televisions in the Yankees’ clubhouse weren’t working. Some Marlins players suggested their clubhouse didn’t have enough clocks.
The ribbon board around the second-deck facade had some programming issues. (Instead of “Mark Teixeira,” for example, it showed “Baseman, Mark.” As an organ played, the same board read “Music Playing.”) One elevator needed repair, and a couple ushers acknowledged they were still learning their way around.
Marlins closer Heath Bell decided the clubhouse needed some remodeling, too.
He twisted athletic tape into a necklace and draped it over the mannequin displaying the day’s uniform scheme, saying he wanted to make it look more like Hanley Ramirez. Bell then pushed a table in the center of the clubhouse closer to an electrical outlet, so a stereo could be powered up.
“It’s going to be great that we have these two exhibition games, we have opening day here, then we’re gone for a week,” Bell said. “And then we come back and what doesn’t work or what we see that needs to be fixed will be.”
As for that much-discussed sculpture in center field with pink flamingos and jumping fish that lights up when the Marlins hit a home run, it stayed silent, even after Sanchez homered off Sabathia.
It won’t be put into use before Wednesday’s opener.
NOTES: Girardi said he expected Sunday’s lineup — Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Cano, Rodriguez, Teixeira, Swisher, Raul Ibanez at DH, Russell Martin and Brett Gardner — to be his opening-day lineup. … Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte is expected to throw a bullpen on Monday. He’ll likely throw again Thursday, but not Wednesday against the Mets in the spring finale. … Carlos Zambrano starts for the Marlins on Monday against the Yankees’ Hiroki Kuroda. … The Yankees signed RHP Jason Bulger to a minor league deal, and expect him at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday. … The roof was closed Sunday, and the Marlins plan to have it open Monday.