03/27/12 11:00 PM ET
Behind Drabek, Blue Jays slug Yanks
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Competing for the fifth spot in Toronto's rotation, Kyle Drabek turned in five strong scoreless innings, lowering his Grapefruit League ERA from 4.82 to 3.14. Drabek scattered five hits, walking two and striking out five.
"I thought he was outstanding -- powerful, and most importantly, when there was some borderline pitches, he stood on the mound and made the next one," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of Drabek. "As we've said, he's on the right path. Tonight was another step forward in that, and I think even more encouraging, when he got into some 2-0 counts, while some balls were hit hard, they were hit hard on the ground. I think that's an encouraging sign for the sinker."
Making his final extended start before scaling back his workload in preparation for an Opening Day start against the Rays on April 6, Sabathia permitted three runs in six innings.
"If the season started tomorrow, I'd be ready," Sabathia said. "That's just how you feel as a player. I've got two bullpens and a start in Miami [on Sunday], so I'll take those and get ready for Opening Day."
Johnson led off the game with a triple and scored on a groundout, then knocked in Yan Gomes with a third-inning single after Gomes led off the frame with a double.
Colby Rasmus added a run-scoring hit in the fourth off Sabathia, who allowed six hits, walking none and striking out five.
Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie doubled and tripled in three at-bats, raising his spring average to .571.
Brett Gardner's second hit of the night, a seventh-inning single with one out, brought home Chris Dickerson to put the Yankees on the board.
The Yankees were without center fielder Curtis Granderson, who was a late scratch from the lineup with right elbow soreness. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the club plans to send Granderson for a precautionary MRI exam on Wednesday.
Yankees right-hander David Robertson made his second appearance coming back from a bruised right foot, pitching a scoreless seventh inning that included one walk and one strikeout.
Up next: Left-hander Brett Cecil will make his second-to-last start of the Grapefruit League season when the Blue Jays host the Orioles at 1:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin. Cecil will be looking to recover from his last outing, which saw him give up four runs on five walks in just 2 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay. Cecil will be followed on the mound by Darren Oliver, Carlos Villanueva and Jason Frasor.