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Saturday, March 10, 2012
3 Stars: A-Rod, Tex & Gardner

By Andrew Marchand

In a new feature of the blog, 3 Stars, we will highlight standout performances.

Here are three positives from Saturday's 8-3 win over the Braves.

* Alex Rodriguez smashed a double off the right field wall for an RBI in the second. He hit it off the wild Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens had six walks in 2 1/3 innings.

* Mark Teixeira nailed a hard single up the middle and walked twice. Teixeira saw this as a good sign, saying he isn't trying to lift the ball at this point in spring. He thinks it was an example how he may not be such strictly pull hitter and can compete better against the shift. (The Braves didn't shift on Saturday.)

* Brett Gardner stole his first base of the spring. A point of emphasis this year for Gardner is to get have his base-running fundamentals sounder at the beginning of the season. Last year, he had trouble early. On Saturday, he said he felt good, but he may have lifted up a little too early on his initial sprint, which could cost him a tenth-of-a-second, which is often the difference between being safe or out.