- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 4, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Mark Teixeira is feeling right at home in his new house.

Flashing the power stroke that earned him a $180 million contract with the Yankees, Teixeira homered twice and drove in four runs to lead New York over the lethargic Chicago Cubs 10-1 on Saturday.

Derek Jeter added a three-run shot and the Bronx Bombers opened their glitzy new ballpark by sweeping a pair of exhibition games from Chicago. They made the $1.5 billion palace look like a Little League band box, hitting seven home runs in two days.

Three came off struggling Cubs starter Rich Harden, who ended a rough spring with another ineffective outing. The oft-injured right-handed was tagged for eight runs _ seven earned _ and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings. He walked four and threw only 41 of 76 pitches for strikes.

The Yankees got sharp outings from Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett, two key members of their promising rotation.

Pettitte went the first four innings, yielding one run and six hits. Burnett was even better, striking out six in four scoreless innings while allowing two hits.

“I feel probably the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Burnett said. “I’m very pleased with where I’m at going into the season.”

New York’s impressive performance was just one reason for fans to get excited. A crowd of 48,917 turned out on a 47-degree afternoon for the second game at the new Yankee Stadium, getting a taste of all the modern comforts and odes to history that it features.

Shelley Duncan also homered for the Yankees, off Luis Vizcaino in the eighth.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella looked perturbed when fellow ex-Yankee Alfonso Soriano failed to hustle out of the batter’s box on his first-inning shot off the top of the left-field fence. Soriano took a long look at his drive and only wound up with a single.

Soriano homered off Pettitte leading off the third.

The Yankees head to Baltimore on Sunday. They will work out at Camden Yards in preparation for Monday’s season opener, with new ace CC Sabathia set to pitch against Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie.

The Cubs were on their way to Houston, where they will have a workout Sunday before Monday night’s opener against the Astros. Carlos Zambrano, who pitched a no-hitter against Houston last September, will start for Chicago against Roy Oswalt.

Notes:@ It was Jeter’s first home run this spring. … Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot of Flight 1549 who successfully landed the impaired plane on the Hudson River in January, received a warm ovation before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. The team honored “Sully,” a longtime Yankees fan, as well as Flight 1549 co-pilot Jeff Skiles and flight-crew member Doreen Welsh in a pregame ceremony.

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