Starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda threw four strong innings of one run ball as the Yankees topped the Astros Saturday afternoon in Tampa. He struck out two and allowed only three hits, which all went for doubles; two of them off the bat of Chris Johnson. The expected #2 starter has certainly looked promising in each of his Spring Training outings so far.
Mariano Rivera (one inning) and Cory Wade (two innings) followed Kuroda with three scoreless frames. They each struck out one and allowed one baserunner apiece. The battery of Wade and Jose Gil also managed to throw out the speedy Jason Bourgeois trying to steal second base. Boone Logan did not fare as well, giving up a double, triple, and two runs in his inning of work.
Dellin Betances came on to close out the game, striking out one. He allowed two hits in the inning, but pitched out of trouble without allowing a run to score. Despite working into and out of trouble, Betances seemed to look a little better than he has of late, which is promising.
On the offensive side, Robinson Cano hit his first home run of Spring Training off of Bud Norris with a three run shot that left Steinbrenner Field. I'm pretty sure that ball is now in orbit somewhere. Curtis Granderson continued his strong spring with a double and a walk, scoring two of the Yankee runs. Brett Gardner walked twice, scored twice, and stole a base in addition to two impressive sliding plays in the field.
Additional offense came from Andruw Jones, who had two singles and an RBI, and Bill Hall, who also hit his first Grapefruit League home run. Eduardo Nunez returned to the lineup after missing time with an injured wrist, and reached base on an infield single. Second-stringer Jayson Nix also had a base hit in the game.
Ivan Nova and the Yankees take on the Orioles tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. in Sarasota. If his Twitter is correct, Mason Williams will be joining them for the game.