YMLN - Cuello Swings A Big Stick

Cuello had a pair of hits on Friday

TAMPA, FL - Prilys Cuello helped lead the Yankees to a 5-1 victory over the Devil Rays in Extended Spring Training on Friday.

  • The Starting Lineup: Prilys Cuello, Andy Cannizaro, Zoilo Almonte, Melky Mesa, Carlos Urena, Andres Dionicio, Ben Blumenthal, Tim O'Brien, Wady Rufino, and Hector Gonzalez.

  • Prilys Cuello showed some pop in his bat on Friday. He collected two hits with a home run and two RBIs. He led off the game by flying out to left field. He then proceeded to smash a two-run home run over the left field wall which scored Hector Gonzalez to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. In the fifth inning he took a half-swing and he was out in front of an offspeed pitch and ended up grounding out to shortstop. His second hit of the day came in the eighth inning when he singled on a groundball to left field.

  • Melky Mesa went 1 for 2 and drew a very rare walk. In the first inning he struck out looking on a pitch that caught the inside part of the plate. His lone hit of the day was when he singled on a groundball which scored Zoilo Almonte. He showed patience in the sixth inning when he was issued a walk, which is not a very common occurrence with him.

  • Zoilo Almonte was very patient in Friday's game. In his first two plate appearances he drew two walks and showed an excellent eye as some pitches were close enough to be called strikes. His one hard hit ball was in the sixth inning when he was robbed of an extra base hit by a leaping catch on a line drive by the first baseman. He grounded out to third base in his last at-bat.

  • Phil Coke had a great outing on his rehab assignment at the minor league complex. From the way he looked on Friday he should be back on the mound for the Tampa Yankees soon. He pitched 4 2/3 innings, throwing 70 pitches, 50 for strikes. He gave up one run on two hits, issued one walk and struck out five. He started the game by getting a groundout to second base on the first pitch he threw, but on the very next pitch he gave up a single up the middle. He did commit a throwing error while trying to pick off the runner on first base but ended up throwing the ball away and it allowed the runner to move up to second base. That error would prove to be hurtful as an error by Andy Canizarro allowed the run to score. He got out of the inning by throwing a great changeup to get the batter to strikeout swinging. He had 1-2-3 second inning by getting a popout to shortstop and striking out the next two batters swinging. He would again have 1-2-3 innings in the third and fourth before allowing a line drive single in the fifth inning. He then issued his only free pass of the day and was then taken out of the game before ending the inning.

  • Carlos Urena did not hit the ball hard but did collect one hit. He led off the second inning by popping out to the third baseman in foul territory. He singled up the middle in the three-run third inning but ended his day in the sixth inning by grounding out to shortstop.

  • Andres Dionicio was one of two Yankees to have a mulit-hit game. Both of his hits were hard hit and both went for extra bases. In his first at-bat he came to the plate and on the second pitch he saw, he launched a solo home run right inside the left field foul pole. In the sixth inning he showed some speed on the base paths and legged out a triple that he hit into the left centerfield gap. The only time he was retired was in the third inning when he grounded out to shortstop.

  • Hector Gonzalez did manage one hit in the game. In the third inning he doubled down the third base line and ended up scoring on Cuello's home run. In the fifth inning he was called out on strikes when the umpire said he went too far around on a check swing on a ball that was up and away. In his third at-bat he hit the ball hard and it sounded like a home run swing when it left the bat but it was caught right in front of the right field wall.

  • Brandon Thomson relieved Coke in the fifth inning and his outing was very short. He got the last out of the fifth but that would be the only batter he would face. He ended up pitching 1/3 of an inning, throwing six pitches. His one batter would strikeout swinging on a curveball that just dipped right out of the strike zone.

  • Andy Cannizaro is still trying to find his rhythm at the plate. He went hitless in four plate appearances and pounded the ball into the ground three times. He grounded out to shortstop twice and to third base. He did manage to lift one ball out of the infield when he flew out to right field in the fifth inning.

  • Ben Blumenthal only got one at-bat on Friday but did make the most of it. He worked a full-count walk in the second inning but was caught stealing second base.

  • Like Coke, Noel Castillo had a dominant outing as well on Friday. He would hold the Devil Rays' batters to two hits in four innings of work. He threw 55 pitches, 35 for strikes. He did not give up a run, issued no walks and had three strikeouts. He started off the sixth inning by getting some help from his defense. Prilys Cuello, who was playing second base, made a terrific diving stop to rob the batter of a base hit. That ball would be the hardest hit ball he would give up until the eighth inning. He pitched a 1-2-3 sixth and seventh innings. In the eighth he gave up his first hit and it was a groundball single that was hit up the middle. He would get out of the inning by getting three groundouts to the left side of the infield. He closed out the game by getting the first two outs very quickly, with a groundout to third base and a popout to shortstop. He then gave up another single up the middle but ended the game by striking out the batter looking.

  • Tim O'Brien had rough day at the plate. Not only did he go hitless, but he struck out looking twice and grounded out to second base to end his day.

  • Wady Rufino did not have much luck either. He also struck out twice, but he went down swinging both times. The first strikeout came in the third inning when he swung at a nasty breaking ball that just disappeared out of the strike zone. In the fourth inning he grounded out to shortstop and in the seventh he struck out again, but this time it was on a hard high fastball that he could not catch up to.

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