GLENDALE, Ariz. – The U.S. team played the White Sox to a draw Tuesday.
The afternoon probably felt like a loss.
In its first of two exhibition games before the World Baseball Classic, manager Joe Torre’s team fell into a four-run hole through five innings and needed three RBIs by Giancarlo Stanton and a run-scoring triple by David Wright to forge a 4-4 tie in a game called after nine innings.
But the game itself proved to be almost secondary to what happened before it, when Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira strained his right forearm and had to pull out of the tournament.
“He had gone into the cage to hit off the tee. I think he took about three or four, just light swings as he was starting to get loose,” Torre said afterward. “It was just a freak thing.”
X-rays were negative, and Teixeira was headed back to New York City, where the Yankees said he will be evaluated Wednesday by team Dr. Christopher Ahmad and Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser.
His loss leaves the U.S. team scrambling for another first baseman, and Torre said he wasn’t sure whether a replacement will be on hand for an exhibition game Wednesday against Colorado.
The U.S. opens the Pool D play Friday night against Mexico.
“We’re just taking names,” Torre said. “But again, Tex was a switch hitter, which was ideal for us, and left-handed wise, we have a couple switch hitters and (Joe) Mauer. Otherwise, we’re pretty lopsided right-handed. So we’re going to have to see what’s the best bet for us.”
Paul Konerko may have made a strong case for consideration, going 3 for 3 and driving in a run for the Sox. Gordon Beckham also went
3 for 3 with an RBI.
The Rangers’ Derek Holland, who will start for the U.S. on Sunday against Canada, allowed a run on four hits in three innings. He struck out three without issuing a walk.
“Felt good. Felt real good,” Holland said. “First time working with Mauer was a little different. I’m used to working with our guys. ... They got a couple hits here and there, but overall, I think it was a good job.”
The Padres’ Luke Gregerson relieved Holland and gave up another run in the fourth, and Royals left-hander Tim Collins ran into even more trouble in the fifth.
He allowed lead-off singles to Dewayne Wise and Ramirez, and then watched his team flub a run down between first and second base to leave runners on the corners.
Connor Gillaspie hit a long fly ball that left fielder Shane Victorino couldn’t catch over his shoulder at the warning track, and it bounced over the wall for a run-scoring ground-rule double. Konerko followed with a base hit that gave the Sox a 4-0 lead.
The Americans finally answered in the sixth, when Wright hit his run-scoring triple and Stanton added a sacrifice fly. They then pulled even in the eighth on two-out singles by Ryan Braun and J.P. Arencibia and a two-run double by Stanton, the Marlins’ All-Star outfielder.
Braun wound up 3 for 4 and scored two runs.
Right-hander Gavin Floyd got the start for the Sox and allowed two hits and a walk in 22/3 scoreless innings, and said it was an honor to face the American team.
“They have a great lineup. All these teams should have great lineups,” Floyd said. “Ultimately, you try not to think about that. To be thrown in the mix that early, I kind of liked that. I like the challenge. You just try to ignore it.”
Notes: Torre firmed up his starters for Pool D play Tuesday. R.A. Dickey will pitch the opener against Mexico and Ryan Vogelsong will pitch Saturday against Italy, followed by Holland on Sunday. ... Ben Zobrist started at 1B for the U.S. in place of Teixeira before moving to 3B and RF later in the game. ... Right-hander Matt Lindstrom and lefty Scott Snodgress each allowed two runs for the Sox.