Yanks' new star fans three in debut, joins rotation mates with two sparkling innings
TAMPA, Fla. -- Masahiro Tanaka pitched two scoreless innings in his internationally anticipated spring debut as the Yankees defeated the Phillies, 4-0, on Saturday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Tanaka entered in relief for the fifth inning and allowed a single to the first batter he faced, Darin Ruf, on an 0-2 fastball. Touching 94 mph on the radar gun, Tanaka recovered to record two flyouts to left field and struck out Cesar Hernandez on a 3-2 pitch.
In the sixth, Tanaka struck out Ben Revere on an 0-2 splitter, allowed a soft single to Ronny Cedeno, struck out Domonic Brown and got Kelly Dugan to fly to center field. The touted right-hander signed a seven-year, $155 million contract with the Yankees in January.
"I was nervous, but it was a really good nervous," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "It's the first time that the batters faced me. It'll probably be a little bit different the next time around.
"Everything is new to me, so for today, I was just trying to locate my pitches where the catcher was holding his glove."
CC Sabathia started for New York and scattered two hits over two scoreless innings. Weighing in this spring with a more slender 275-pound frame, Sabathia walked none and struck out one, showcasing a fastball that topped out at 88 mph.
Hiroki Kuroda also turned in a pair of scoreless frames, pitching around a single with two strikeouts, before handing the pitching over to Tanaka. Tanaka received a warm ovation as he stepped onto the field and took the mound, and photographers crowded in front of the dugout to document the moment.
Derek Jeter went 0-for-2 with a walk in his second game of the spring. The captain looked smooth in the field, including a nice turn of a third-inning double play; Jeter grabbed Revere's high chopper in front of the second-base bag, fluidly tagged Hernandez for the first out, then threw to first base to complete the twin killing.
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who has been a mystery in Phillies camp, turned in an erratic first outing. The Cuban right-hander walked four and threw a wild pitch, needing 51 pitches to navigate 1 2/3 innings of work.
Facing Gonzalez in the fourth inning, Ichiro Suzuki laced a hard single off the glove of third baseman Cody Asche, sending Francisco Cervelli home with the first run of the game. Cervelli added an RBI infield single off Kevin Munson in the fifth inning.
Phillies starter David Buchanan, who pitched last year at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, was solid in his two innings of work. Buchanan allowed only a Brian McCann double and struck out three.
Adonis Garcia tacked on a two-run single off of Jeremy Horst in the seventh inning.
Up next:Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury headline the travel squad for the Yankees on Sunday as they visit the Blue Jays for a 1:05 p.m. ET contest in Dunedin, Fla., live on MLB.TV. Left-hander Vidal Nuno is scheduled to make his second start of the spring -- his first against a big league club -- for New York, and Toronto will start right-hander Esmil Rogers.