McCann homers off Scherzer, Yankees top Tigers 7-4
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) Max Scherzer allowed a second-inning homer by Yankees newcomer Brian McCann, but the Detroit right-hander was otherwise sharp in his first start of the spring Friday, yielding only that one hit in the Tigers' 7-4 loss to the New York Yankees.
Scherzer, the American League's Cy Young Award winner, struck out two without a walk.
''Anything can happen in your first time out,'' Scherzer said. ''You can come out here and walk the house, or you can come in and be dominant. You just never know.''
Three of New York's top free agent signings from the offseason - McCann, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury - made the trip to Lakeland to face Detroit's split squad. McCann's drive to right leading off the second was the only hit by that trio.
''I don't know if I've ever hit a home run this early in camp,'' said McCann, who left the Atlanta Braves for an $85 million, five-year deal with New York. ''I don't know if it's a good sign or a bad sign.''
Gary Sanchez, Jose Pirela and Yangervis Solarte also homered for the Yankees.
Adam Warren is one of a few candidates in the mix to become New York's No. 5 starter. The right-hander allowed a double and two walks in the first inning, but baserunning mistakes by Detroit prevented any scoring.
Warren allowed another double in the second but again kept the Tigers off the board.
''A little jumpy the first inning,'' Warren said. ''I'm not pleased with the walks, but I know that's not normal for me.''
The Tigers expect to be faster on the basepaths this season after trading Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler and signing fleet-footed outfielder Rajai Davis.
Detroit spent much of Friday's game running into outs, but manager Brad Ausmus wasn't upset with his team's aggressiveness.
''We want them to take chances now,'' Ausmus said. ''You hope that creates kind of an overall mentality of baserunning as a team.''
Davis doubled in the first, then was picked off second. Miguel Cabrera was thrown out to end that inning in bizarre fashion when he tried to go from first to third on a walk, hoping to catch the Yankees off guard.
''Miggy saw the third baseman over - the third baseman was playing over toward the shortstop hole,'' Ausmus said. ''Miggy's not just trotting to second. He's going to second and he's aware of where people are. He's into the game.''
Torii Hunter was cut down at the plate when he tried to score from second on Cabrera's single in the third, and in the sixth, Steven Moya was thrown out trying to stretch a single to a double.
Tigers: Ace Justin Verlander said he's still ''on track'' after throwing about 50 pitches Friday. Verlander had surgery in January following a groin injury but hopes to be ready for the start of the season.
Yankees: Outfielder Alfonso Soriano worked out for the fourth straight day after being sidelined by flu-like symptoms, and said he still feels a little dizzy at times. Soriano hopes to play soon in his first spring training game.
New York's Michael Pineda, another candidate for the last spot in the rotation, will pitch Sunday in a simulated game. He missed the last two years after right shoulder surgery.
While Verlander works his way back from his operation, his younger brother Ben was playing left field for the Tigers. Ben Verlander was one of 13 minor leaguers who joined the team's split squad for the game. He went hitless in two at-bats.
''To be able to come out here and play with these guys, to this point is one of the best experiences of my life,'' Ben Verlander said. ''To say there weren't nerves would be a lie. There were a lot of nerves.''