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Yankees 5, Twins 4: Four-run inning gives Yankees win

Masahiro Tanaka started as the Yankees picked up another spring training win.

Masahiro Tanaka got the start for the Yankees and he wasn't as good as he's been in past outings. Not entirely fair as his past outings have been really impressive, while this one was was just okay. Tanaka allowed three runs in his 5.2 innings, but the Yankees got the win anyway, thanks mostly to a four-run fourth inning from the offense.

Tanaka did not get off to the best of starts as Brian Dozier led off with a double. That was followed up by two consecutive ground outs, the first moving Dozier to third and the second scoring him, giving the Twins an early lead.

After Tanaka was able to get out of a jam in the bottom of the third, the Yankees finally got some offense going in the top of the fourth. Eduardo Nunez started the rally by dropping a one-out single into right field. Nunez then moved to third when Kelly Johnson singled. Francisco Cervelli was hit by a Kevin Correia pitch, which loaded the bases for Scott Sizemore. During Sizemore's at bat, a wild pitch allowed Nunez to score, tying the game. Sizemore then singled to right, scoring Johnson and Cervelli, making it 3-1. Three batters later, Zelous Wheeler hit a double that scored Sizemore, making it 4-1.

After shutting down the Twins following their first inning run, Tanaka gave up some hits to let the Twins get back in the game in the sixth inning.  Kurt Suzuki led off the inning with a single. After striking out Joe Mauer, Tanaka hit Josh Willingham with a pitch. Jason Kubel then doubled, scoring Suzuki, and moving Alex Presley (pinch-running for Willingham) to third. Presley scored when Trevor Plouffe grounded out. Plouffe would be the last batter Tanaka would face as Fred Lewis was then brought in. Tanaka went 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out six.

The Yankees tacked on another run in the top of the seventh. Almonte led off with a double and moved to third when Wheeler singled. Roybell Herrera then singled to score Almonte, increasing the Yankee lead to two runs.

Lewis, David Herndon, Shane Greene and Yoshinori Tateyama combined to finish off the game. Only Tateyama got in any real trouble, when he allowed a home run to Eduardo Escobar. That made the score 5-4, but Tateyama struck out the next two batters to finish the game and give the Yankees the win.

Tomorrow the Yankees will take on the Blue Jays at 1:05 eastern. Michael Pineda is scheduled to get the start.

Box score.