FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 15: Ivan Nova #47 of the New York Yankees pitches during the first inning of the Spring Training Game against the Boston Red Sox on March 15, 2016 at Jet Blue Park at Fenway South, Fort Myers, Florida. The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 6-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
The Yankees made a visit to the Minnesota Twins today.
Ivan Nova got the start today and cruised through his first inning but the second inning proved to be a large bump in the road to a spot in the starting rotation. The Twins started the second inning with a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases with no outs. Eduardo Escobar and former Yankee John Ryan Murphy used a pair of constructive force outs in the field to manufacture the first two runs of the game. After the Twins took the lead, the Yankees had a response in the top half of the third inning.
Pete Kozma started the third inning with a walk and Ronald Torreyes followed with a single. An error in the outfield loaded the bases and the second walk of the inning put the Yankees’ first run on the board. Former Twin Aaron Hicks tied the game for the Yankees with a sacrifice fly. Brian McCann made the productive ground out that plated the third run of the inning to give the Yankees the lead in a strong response to the Twins’ two-run second inning.
Ivan Nova got through the third inning smoothly and received an assist from the outfield in the fourth inning when Aaron Hicks made a fly out and gunned down the runner trying to advance from second to third for the double play.
The Yankees were gifted a run in the top of the fifth inning when Ervin Santana committed a balk, extending the lead to two. In the bottom half of the inning, Nova gave up a two-run double to Joe Mauer, his last batter of the game. In 4 1/3 innings, Ivan Nova allowed four runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out two.
Bryan Mitchell provided two scoreless innings out of the bullpen to keep the game tied and to let the Yankees’ substitutions do the damage needed for victory. In the eighth inning, outfielder Cesar Puello broke the 4-4 tie with a solo home run. Catcher Eddy Rodriguez added a run-scoring double and that was all the Yankees needed in today’s victory.