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Yankees’ Gary Sanchez earns his stripes against Tigers

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez does exercising drills from

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez does exercising drills from home plate during a spring training workout on Thursday Feb. 23, 2017, at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tigers probably have seen enough of the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez.

A week after the catcher homered and threw out a runner — from his knees no less — against the Tigers in Lakeland, the 24-year-old went 2-for-3, including a homer, with three RBIs in the Yankees’ 7-1 victory Saturday. He has a .346/.370/.769 slash line, three homers and nine RBIs in nine games.

Two-way player

Greg Bird has stood out with the bat, but he quietly has had a good camp at first base, too. On Saturday, he helped end the third inning with a fine stretch-and-scoop on a throw from shortstop Ronald Torreyes from deep in the hole, nipping Brendan Ryan by a step.

Bird helped end the fifth inning when he cut off Jacoby Ellsbury’s throw home from center and nailed John Hicks trying to make it from second to third. Bird doubled, too, and has a .417/.481/.958 slash line, three homers and five RBIs.

Mitchell bounces back

Bryan Mitchell, who didn’t help himself in the rotation competition Monday afternoon in Bradenton when he allowed four runs and six hits in 2 1/3 innings against the Pirates, rebounded Saturday.

The 25-year-old, who has his share of backers in the organization for one of those two open rotation slots, allowed one run and three hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out two in dropping his ERA to 3.97 in four outings.

Extra bases

Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer and has a .409/.458/.818 slash line and two homers in nine games . . . Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-for-3 in improving to 8-for-20 (.400) in eight games . . . The Yankees pushed their exhibition record to an MLB-best 13-3.


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