Phelps has strong start, Yanks and Rays tie 3-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm •  Published: March 9, 2014
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — David Phelps boosted his bid to become the New York Yankees' fifth starter, pitching five scoreless innings Sunday during a 3-3 tie with the Tampa Bay Rays in 10 innings.

Phelps, who gave up three hits and struck out one, is competing with Michael Pineda, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno for the final rotation spot behind CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka and Ivan Nova. The right-hander has been touched for two runs over 9 2-3 innings in three spring training starts.

"Aggressive in the strike zone," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "Got quick outs. Outstanding job."

Chris Archer allowed two hits and had two strikeouts in 3 1-3 shutout innings for the Rays. Archer struck out his first two batters, Jacoby Ellsbury and Derek Jeter.

"I felt like I had sustained output as far as my stuff," Archer said. "I used the changeup more. I was successful against really top-notch hitters. A future Hall of Famer in Jeter. Ellsbury, who he is."

Alfonso Soriano had an infield single and Ellsbury doubled off Archer, who went 9-7 with a 3.22 ERA over 23 starts during his rookie season last year.

MADDON'S MESSAGE

After missing the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years, the Yankees added Ellsbury, Tanaka, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran for a total commitment of $438 million.

Rays manager Joe Maddon thinks the McCann signing might be the biggest by his AL East rival.

"McCann, it starts right there for me," Maddon said. "To be able to get McCann behind the plate, what he brings. Not just the hitting, but what he does toughness-wise, what he does in regards to preparation-wise. And when the pitchers fall in love with that kind of stuff, then they pitch better. To me, that's probably the most important acquisition in my perspective."