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Greg Bird homers as Yankees lose exhibition finale

New York Yankees' Greg Bird, right, high-fives third

New York Yankees' Greg Bird, right, high-fives third base coach Joe Espada after hitting a two-run home run to score teammate Gary Sanchez in the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta, Friday, March 31, 2017. Credit: AP / David Goldman

 

ATLANTA — In their final game of the exhibition season, the Yankees helped the Braves open their new ballpark in suburban Cobb County on Friday night.

The lights flickered a couple of times at SunTrust Park, but otherwise things went well. The Braves beat the Yankees, 8-5. Atlanta, which opens the season against the Mets on Monday at Citi Field, will have its home opener on April 14.

Michael Pineda started for the Yankees and allowed three runs in five innings. Pineda, who gave up a three-run home run to Freddie Freeman in the third, will start the third game of the season on Wednesday at Tampa Bay. Pineda gave up six hits, walked one and struck out six.

Greg Bird completed his assault on spring training pitching by belting the first home run in ballpark history, a two-run shot to right off Bartolo Colon in the second. Bird hit .451 with eight home runs and 15 RBIs in exhibition play. Chris Carter also homered for the Yankees.

Green pitching in

In Tampa, fifth starter candidate Chad Green pitched for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Double-A Trenton. He allowed three runs, two hits and three walks with six strikeouts in five innings. All three runs and three walks came in the first.

On still being alive for the fifth starter’s job along with Luis Cessa and Jordan Montgomery, Green said: “It’s exciting just to get a chance to compete still. Obviously, I’d like to be on the team, but that’s up to them. I’m just going to go out there and try to get outs for the next two weeks or whenever until they name the fifth starter.” The Yankees won’t need a fifth starter until April 16.

With Erik Boland in Tampa

New York Sports