TAMPA, Fla. -- Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka struck out four batters in three scoreless innings, leading the Yankees to a 3-2 win over the Pirates on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.Tanaka allowed three hits without a walk in three innings, two singles and a John Jaso double that sailed through
TAMPA, Fla. -- Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka struck out four batters in three scoreless innings, leading the Yankees to a 3-2 win over the Pirates on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Tanaka allowed three hits without a walk in three innings, two singles and a John Jaso double that sailed through the shifted infield and into right field.
"More than anything I wanted to work on the command of my pitches, last time I think I was a little bit off on that part," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "So I just wanted to go out there and command the ball better and I felt a little better than last time."
Relievers Albertin Chapman and Tyler Clippard both pitched scoreless innings. Clippard will be joining Team USA in Fort Myers, Fla., on Monday in preparation for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
The Yankees struck first, scoring on Nick Kingham's wild pitch in the fourth inning. Matthew Holliday began the rally with a two-out double to left, took third on an error and came home on Kingham's wild pitch. The Pirates evened it up on outfielder Barrett Barnes' seventh-inning single, but the Yankees pulled back ahead in the bottom of the seventh on a wild pitch by Antonio Bastardo and catcher Christian Kelley's throwing error.
Jameson Taillon, the Pirates' No. 2 starter pitching on two extra days' rest, retired all six hitters he faced on 26 pitches and threw 14 more pitches in the bullpen after the efficient outing. Taillon struck out Yankees cleanup man Chris Carter on a sharp two-seam fastball and only allowed one ball out of the infield, a flyout to shallow right field.
"The first start, I really just wanted to go out there and get a vague feel for what was working, what wasn't working, what I wanted to work on in my sides, kind of get some feedback going," Taillon said. "I saw that my two-seam wasn't playing as well last start, and that's a huge pitch for me. I think the rest of the spring, throwing strike one and power two-seams down in the zone are going to be a focus for me."
Pirates Up Next: The Pirates will host the Yankees at LECOM Park at 1:05 p.m. ET on Monday, the first time right-hander Ivan Nova -- signed in 2004 and brought up by the Yankees until he was traded last Aug. 1 -- will face his former team. He will be followed on the mound by right-hander Josh Lindblom, setup man Felipe Rivero and relievers Juan Nicasio, Edgar Santana and Dovydas Neverauskas. The game can be seen on MLB.TV.
Yankees Up Next: Right hander Bryan Mitchell looks to continue his strong spring with a road start against the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., at 1:05 p.m. Monday afternoon. Mitchell, who is looking to secure one of the Yankees' open rotation spots, is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA this spring. The game can be seen on MLB.TV
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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.
Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com.