Gardner's big game can't slow USA

Gardner's big game can't slow USA

at Tampa, Fla.
Tuesday, March 3

Team USA at the plate: Playing against the Yankees for the first time in his career -- save for a random scrimmage -- Derek Jeter gave Team USA the lead in the top of the third inning, coming through with a two-run single to center field. In the sixth, Adam Dunn knocked in Jeter with the third U.S. run on a bases-loaded Angel Berroa error, and Kevin Youkilis tacked on a two-run single to open up a 6-1 lead.

Yankees at the plate: Continuing his bid to be New York's Opening Day center fielder, Brett Gardner had another strong showing, stroking hits in his first three at-bats -- including a double -- while stealing a base and scoring a run. The Yankees put up a first-inning run, as Gardner singled, moved to third on Mark Teixeira's hit to right and came home on Jorge Posada's RBI bloop single to shallow left field. Nick Swisher popped a two-run ground-rule double in the sixth.

Team USA on the mound: Taking the ball for the first of Team USA's three exhibitions, Roy Oswalt worked 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits. The Astros right-hander walked one and struck out two, throwing 50 pitches (32 strikes). Brad Ziegler relieved and turned in 1 2/3 innings of scoreless, two-hit ball, striking out three. Matt Thornton allowed three runs in the sixth inning.

Yankees on the mound: Working on his curveball, starter Phil Hughes went 2 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits. The right-hander walked none and struck out two, throwing 41 pitches (25 strikes). Phil Coke was next and hurled 2 1/3 scoreless frames, but Eric Hacker allowed four runs in the sixth inning, walking two while throwing a wild pitch and hitting a batter.

Up next: Team USA will play the second of its three pre-World Baseball Classic exhibitions on Wednesday, traveling to Dunedin Stadium to face the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. ET. Left-hander Ted Lilly will start for Team USA against lefty Brad Mills.

The Yankees will return to Grapefruit League play on Wednesday, traveling to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to meet the Atlanta Braves in a 1:05 p.m. ET start. Right-hander Ian Kennedy will get his second nod for New York, opposing righty Kenshin Kawakami. Among the players in the Yankees' lineup will be Johnny Damon, Gardner and Xavier Nady.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.