BRADENTON, Fla. - The Grapefruit League season has officially begun. The Pittsburgh Pirates hosted the New York Yankees Wednesday afternoon at McKechnie Field in Bradenton.
Pittsburgh won the game, 6-5.
The Yankees’ Derek Jeter, who has announced that this is his final season in baseball, did not travel with the team to Bradenton.
The Pirates will play the Yankees again Thursday, but this time at Legends Field in Tampa.
The Tampa Bay Rays host their first spring home game against the Baltimore Orioles in Port Charlotte on Friday.
Then the Orioles will kick off their fifth season of Spring Training games at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday. But Wednesday night, a key to the City of Sarasota will be presented by city officials and the Orioles owners and executives.
The orioles began a 30-year lease of Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota back in 2010.
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BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Jacoby Ellsbury reached base in all three plate appearances of his New York Yankees' spring training debut, scoring twice Wednesday in 6-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Ellsbury, who left World Series champion Boston for a $153 million, seven-year contract with New York, walked twice and had an infield single in the exhibition opener. He was on base in the second inning when Yangervis Solarte hit a two-run homer off Edinson Volquez.
Pittsburgh trailed 4-0 but scored twice in the second and four times in the seventh, when Tony Sanchez hit a tying three-run homer against Chase Whitley. Chris McGuiness had a go-ahead single that drove in former-Yankee Chris Dickerson.
Yankees starter Ivan Nova allowed two runs, two hits and two walks in 1 1-3 innings. Pirates starter Francisco Liriano gave two runs, three hits and a walk in one inning.