Girardi sees potential in Yankees' lineup

Girardi sees potential in Yankees' lineup

ATLANTA -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi was optimistic talking about his lineup on Friday prior to New York's 8-5 loss to the Braves at SunTrust Park.

"Last year it was a struggle for us scoring runs," Girardi said. "Now, I know Spring Training is Spring Training, but we swung the bats a lot better than we have in the past Spring Trainings, and I think there's a lot of potential in this lineup."

Heading into Friday's spring finale, the Yankees led the Grapefruit League with 47 home runs.

Greg Bird and Chris Carter both padded that lead on Friday night. Carter belted a pinch-hit solo homer in the seventh after Bird hit a two-run homer to right field off Braves starter Bartolo Colon in the third for his eighth of the spring.

Carter's solo homer

Bird, who went 2-for-2, finished his spring campaign with a .451 batting average.

"[Bird's] got a quiet swing," Girardi said after the game. "It's pretty simple. You don't expect him to get out of whack for a long period of time. Everything he does at the plate is pretty consistent, so you expect him to be able to be productive."

Girardi on team's strong spring

Gary Sanchez also went 2-for-2, with a double, and Dustin Fowler delivered a two-run double to right in the sixth.

Fowler's two-run double

"I've said all along, I think we're going to be really good if the veterans do their job," Girardi said.

The bats of those veterans -- Brett Gardner, Matt Holliday, Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley -- were quiet on Friday, though, as they went a combined 0-for-8. Holliday posted a .283 average in Spring Training, with four home runs and 11 RBIs.

Aimee Sachs is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.