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Yankees Spring Training Game 5: Tanaka debuts

Yankees-logoPhiladelphia Phillies 0 — New York Yankees 4

The story of today’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies was the pitching. To start the game, CC Sabathia made his Spring debut. The slimmed down Sabathia would allow two hits in two innings of work but would hold the Phillies scoreless. Hiroki Kuroda would follow and would also go two scoreless innings. In Kuroda’s appearance, he allowed a single baserunner on a bunt but he would be erased on a double play. Kuroda struck out two in his two innings.

The appearance many have eagerly anticipated would come next.

Masahiro Tanaka made his Spring debut in the fifth inning. He would allow a lead off single on a shallow fly ball to center field. He would proceed to get two fly outs to left field and his first strikeout in the MLB of second baseman Cesar Hernandez. In his second inning, Tanaka would start with a strikeout of centerfielder Ben Revere. Shortstop Ronny Cedeno would hit a single to shallow center field but Tanaka would bounce back by striking out Domonic Brown and getting Kelly Dugan to fly out to center field to complete his scoreless outing.

Three of the five members of the starting rotation combined for six scoreless innings of work today. CC Sabathia allowed two hits while striking out one. Hiroki Kuroda allowed a bunt single while striking out two. Masahiro Tanaka allowed two hits while striking out three.

Competing for a spot in the bullpen, big right-hander Dellin Betances followed the three starting pitchers. Betances received and was burned by the defense of infielder Dean Anna, who made a dazzling diving stop in the hole between third and short and made a fantastic throw to get the batter at first but committed an error on the following play. Betances would get two more outs in the eighth inning before exiting the game. Another possibility for the bullpen, left-hander Cesar Cabral took over and got a ground out to end the eighth inning. Cabral would get a pair of left-handed bats to strike out swinging on sweeping breaking balls and a right-handed bat to ground out to complete the shutout in an outstanding pitching performance.

In 1.2 scoreless innings, Dellin Betances walked one and another baserunner reached on error. Cesar Cabral went 1.1 scoreless innings while striking out two.

On the offense side, the Yankees got on the board in the fourth inning. Competing for the backup catcher’s job, Francisco Cervelli opened the fourth with a walk. Kelly Johnson, competing for the third base job, would walk too. Ichiro Suzuki would bring in Cervelli on a single to right field to give the Yankees a one-run lead. Cervelli would bring in the second run of the game in the fifth inning. In the seventh inning, outfielder Adonis Garcia doubled the lead with a two-run single with the bases loaded and that made it a four-run lead, more than enough.