BRADENTON, Fla. -- Right-hander Luis Severino tossed four scoreless innings, Rob Refsnyder and Starlin Castro homered and the Yankees beat the Pirates, 7-2, on Thursday afternoon at McKechnie Field.Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka started for the Yankees, allowing two runs on four hits over two innings. New York's presumptive Opening Day starter
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Right-hander Luis Severino tossed four scoreless innings, Rob Refsnyder and Starlin Castro homered and the Yankees beat the Pirates, 7-2, on Thursday afternoon at McKechnie Field.
Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka started for the Yankees, allowing two runs on four hits over two innings. New York's presumptive Opening Day starter fell behind early, allowing a solo homer to Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen in the first inning.
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McCutchen's blast, which landed beyond the boardwalk behind the left-field fence, was his third in his last four games. The Pirates tacked on another run in the second, when leadoff man John Jaso swatted an RBI single to right field.
"Particularly with the fastball, I wasn't really satisfied with that," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "In my last outing I wasn't hitting my spots, and today was the same case. I'll work on that and try to be better next time."
Then Severino, the Yankees young right-hander, shut down the Pirates for four innings. Severino struck out five batters, allowed two hits and snared a comebacker that zoomed off Starling Marte's bat and directly toward Severino's face.
The Yankees' bats came to life while Severino was on the mound. Refsnyder launched a two-run homer, his first of the spring, to center field in the fourth inning off Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke. Castro smoked a solo shot to center and Chase Headley knocked a sacrifice fly to left field in the fifth, giving the Bombers a three-run lead.
Locke allowed five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out two over five innings.
"Obviously we made some mistakes today, leaving some balls up over the plate. But the ball feels like it's coming out really well," Locke said. "Just really happy getting through five innings. That's the ultimate goal, to build up the endurance right now and feel healthy and strong and get through five innings."
Up next for the Yankees: The Yankees are back under the lights on Friday, hosting the Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field at 6:35 p.m. ET (watch on MLB.TV). CC Sabathia will take the ball, looking to bounce back from a rough second outing of the spring. Brett Gardner, slowed by a bruised left wrist early in camp, is set to make his second appearance in the Yanks' lineup.
Up next for the Pirates: With originally scheduled starter Gerrit Cole instead slated to pitch in a Minor League game, left-hander Kyle Lobstein will get the start as the Pirates travel north to Clearwater to play the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. ET (listen to an exclusive webcast or watch on MLB.TV). . Pittsburgh will see another familiar face on the mound in former Pirate Charlie Morton, slated to start for Philadelphia at Bright House Field.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.