The Yankees played under the lights at George M. Steinbrenner Field tonight, and fans were treated to a close matchup. Unfortunately they couldn’t pull off the win. The Bombers dropped the game to the Twins by a score of 2 — 1.
Masahiro Tanaka made his second start of the spring tonight, and for the most part, it was a success. At the very least, it went far better than his first time out. Tanaka held the Twins to two runs over four innings. He struck out six in the process, generating a number of whiffs on his slider.
The only blemish on his outing came courtesy of a two-run homer off the bat of Bobby Wilson during a laborious second inning. Serving up home runs to backup catchers is never great, but it wasn’t a particularly bad pitch. It was off the plate and maybe a little high. I would give more credit to Wilson than blame to Tanaka here.
“Things are starting to come together,” Tanaka told reporters following his outing. Given the way his stuff looked tonight, I agree with him. He gave up a cheap home run — it just cleared the right field wall — but otherwise looked sharp. More of this moving forward, please.
As far as offense is concerned, the Yankees went quietly all game. The only run they pushed across came via a Tyler Austin solo home run. He took Phil Hughes deep in the bottom of the fourth inning. It was a blast straight to center field.
I have to say, it’s a lot more fun to be on this side of a Hughes-issued home run.
The team had a few other opportunities to score but couldn’t capitalize. Their best chance in the third inning after Ronald Torreyes got things started with a double. Tyler Wade followed with a double of his own, but Torreyes misread it off the bat. Instead of breaking for third, he hesitated and tried to tag up at second. Phil Nevin waved him home, anyway, and Torreyes was thrown out by a mile. Oops.
They also made things interesting in the ninth inning. With two outs and two on, Jace Peterson lined a pitch towards shallow left field. Edgar Corcino came flying in, however, and made an impressive diving catch. That sent the Yankees packing, preventing them from at the very least tying the game.
The rest of the game went by quickly without much action. It will be worth checking in on Austin Romine, who may have exited the game with an injury. He took a Domingo German pitch to the knee. Erik Kratz pinch hit for him bottom of the seventh. We will have any news on his condition as it’s made available.
The Yankees host the Tigers tomorrow afternoon in a game that will also be televised on YES. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM.