After sim game, Hughes nears rehab start
Yankees right-hander hits 90-92 mph on radar gun
NEW YORK -- Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes threw 30 pitches during two innings of a simulated game in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, reaching 90-92 mph on the radar gun, manager Joe Girardi said.
Hughes will make a rehab start on Tuesday for the Gulf Coast Yankees.
"Monday's Opening Day, and they were concerned that he might be nervous for Opening Day," Girardi quipped.
Hughes has been on the disabled list with a dead arm since April 15. The 24-year-old right-hander threw 22 pitches of batting practice on Saturday in Anaheim for the first time since his last start, a no-decision in the Yankees' 6-5 win against the Orioles on April 14.
Benches warned after CC plunks Ortiz
NEW YORK -- Once again, David Ortiz stung the Yankees with his bat, and once again, a Red Sox starter hit two Yankees with a pitch.
When the Yankees finally stung Ortiz back, he blamed the media.
"Just want to thank you guys -- not all of you; most of you -- for the stat today of me not getting hit by the Yankees," Ortiz said after an early morning wrap to an 8-3 win, the finish to another Red Sox sweep at Yankee Stadium. "I finally got hit. Hope you [guys] are happy. I'm done."
The stat that Ortiz, 2-for-4 with two RBIs on Thursday, was referring to was one that pointed out the Yankees had never hit him with a pitch since he joined the Red Sox in 2003. That changed in the fourth inning on Thursday.
Ortiz's bat flip after a home run in Tuesday's series opener didn't sit well with Yankees manager Joe Girardi, and the fact that New York did not retaliate after Boston starter Jon Lester hit two opposing batters in that game was widely reported.
On Friday, Josh Beckett caught three more Yankees with pitches, and they weren't just any Yankees. He hit Derek Jeter around the left elbow two pitches into the game and caught Alex Rodriguez on the left hip in the third inning. The first plunking led to the Yankees' first two runs, on a Curtis Granderson homer, and the latter loaded the bases.
Whether Beckett's plunkings were intentional or not, the situation was begging for retaliation, and Sabathia delivered it with a first-pitch 97-mph fastball with one out and one on in the fourth. Home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt immediately issued a warning, and Ortiz smirked as he walked down to first base.
"I threw a two-seamer, and it kind of got away," Sabathia said.
Beckett said he talked with Wendelstedt before and after the warning and said he tried to explain he wasn't trying to hit anyone and that the mound was difficult to get footing on after a rain delay of three hours and 27 minutes. Beckett hit one more Yankee -- Granderson -- with a curveball on the back foot in the fifth inning, and Granderson didn't move. There were no ejections.
"Hunter and I had that talk, and he told me he wasn't going to take the inside plate away from either one of us," Beckett said. "It is what it is. I thought they handled it well. I'm still trying to figure out if David got hit for something I did, or if it's something [the media] stirred up."
"We had four or five guys hit this series, and I think they had one," Girardi said. "Curtis got hit with a curveball, and I understand you're not going to throw someone out when you hit them with a curveball; that's the bottom line. But no one wants to see their guys get hit because you risk injury."
Ortiz started and finished a go-ahead rally against Sabathia in the seventh, singling to start the frame and doubling to plate the last two runs.
When Ortiz reached second base, he clapped several times and made a downward swatting gesture.
Girardi said he didn't have an issue with how Ortiz arrived at the bag.
"I think people are making a big deal out of this," Girardi said. "All along, I said I respect David Ortiz and what he's done for the game. I was shocked with what he did when he hit the home run. When you say things like that here, it's going to kind of take on a life of its own, and when you're playing Boston. But no, I mean, he's somewhat of an emotional guy. He's excited. He got a big hit."
Ortiz, perhaps playing with the media or perhaps serious, did not take questions.
"You guys like to criticize us when we [fail]; criticize yourself now," Ortiz said.
One reporter tried to ask Ortiz where the pitch got him, and the DH was short.
"I don't [care]," Ortiz said. "I already got hit. Don't matter. Too late. I'm not talking no more. Have a good night."
-- Evan Drellich
Yanks reward patient fans with ticket offer
NEW YORK -- After rain delayed the start of their game against the Red Sox by three hours and 27 minutes on Thursday, the Yankees rewarded ticket holders with a free-ticket offer.
Fans may redeem tickets for Thursday's game -- used or not -- for a free grandstand or terrace seat for another game at Yankee Stadium this season, subject to availability.
Fans may also use tickets for Thursday's game as a 50 percent off coupon for any non-suite ticket.
Premium games (Old-Timers' Day on Sunday, June 26, and the September series against the Red Sox) are not eligible for this offer. Starting Friday, fans can redeem their tickets at Yankee Stadium ticket windows only.
Thursday's game, which began at 10:32 p.m. ET, started before a stadium that was at least 75 percent full.
Martin remains unavailable with balky back
NEW YORK -- For the second time in as many games, Russell Martin was not available on Thursday against the Red Sox because of a bad back, but an MRI exam revealed no disc damage, leaving the Yankees' starting catcher day to day.
"[Athletic trainer Gene Monahan] said he's seen this happen five, 10 times in his career, and it's anywhere from a couple days to 10 days, not more than that," Martin said.
Martin said he felt better on Thursday and was hopeful he could return immediately.
"If I feel great [on Friday], I don't see why I couldn't play," Martin said.
Francisco Cervelli started on Thursday in Martin's place for the second successive night after committing two throwing errors in Wednesday's 11-6 loss to the Red Sox.
Jorge Posada was slotted in as the No. 7 hitter and the designated hitter in Thursday's starting lineup, one day after he left the Yankees to be with his 11-year-old son, Jorge III, who underwent his ninth surgery for craniosynostosis, a birth defect in which the bones in the skull do not fuse correctly. Posada said the surgery went well and the family returned home from the hospital on Thursday night. The 17-year Yankees veteran said the surgery was supposed to be the final one for his son, though he added that he was told the same thing during Jorge III's last surgery, in 2006. ... Asked if the Yankees were playing for a measure of dignity on Thursday following five straight home losses against the Red Sox, manager Joe Girardi replied: "I don't know if I would use the word dignity, but I think it's important that we win -- I do. I do. Because it's frustrating to lose five games in a row to the Red Sox in here, your biggest foe. That's frustrating."
Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.