Andy Pettitte passes Whitey Ford for first on Yankees’ all-time strikeout list

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Andy Pettitte is your new all-time leader in strikeouts for the Yankees.

Pettitte fanned Twins first baseman Justin Morneau in the bottom of the third inning tonight for his 1,958th strikeout with the club, passing Whitey Ford for first in team history. You can watch the strikeout here.

Pettitte entered tonight’s action needing just two strikeouts to pass Ford. The 41-year-old southpaw struck out Clete Thomas swinging in the second inning before fanning Morneau in the third. They were his only two strikeouts for the night, as he allowed four runs on four runs on six hits and four walks over five innings before exiting.

Ford sat atop the strikeout leaderboard with the Yankees for nearly 50 years, as he passed Red Ruffing for the franchise lead on September 9, 1963. The Hall of Famer is still first in franchise history with 236 wins. Pettitte has 213 wins with the Bombers. That record appears pretty safe for the foreseeable future.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.