TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - 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.
The Associated Press News Service
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