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Yankees 4, Phillies 3: Late inning comeback caps off win in Tanaka's second appearance

Mike Carlson

After much hem-hawing around, the Yankees and Phillies decided that this spring training game needed happen, despite the rain. The game finally got underway at 2:30 after an hour and a half delay. Carlos Beltran was scratched before the game, otherwise the Yankees lineup featured almost all of the regulars.

Masahiro Tanaka started his first spring training game, and worked a clean first inning. He sat the batters down in order and got Chase Utley to strikeout chasing after his splitter. Tanaka gave up his first hit in the second inning, a Marlon Byrd double to deep center, but was able to get out of the inning without giving up a run.

The Yankees took the lead in the third inning, thanks to a home run to right off the bat of Ramon Flores. Derek Jeter singled to get his first hit of spring training but was unable to make it home. The Phillies immediately tied the game up in the bottom of the third, as Tanaka gave up his first run of spring training, a Freddy Galvis solo home run hit to deep right field.

Jonathan Papelbon relieved Kendrick in the fourth inning. Kelly Johnson hit his second single of the day through the gap in right, then stole second with one out and Brian Roberts at the plate. The inning ended with a Roberts pop up to Utley, and Mason Williams striking out. Bruce Billings came in to relieve Tanaka and pitched a clean inning.

With two outs, Jeter doubled to center in the fifth, but was stranded again as Mark Teixeira popped up to shortstop for the third out. Billings came out for the fifth, and quickly got into trouble, starting things off with a walk to Domonic Brown. Brown was subsequently caught stealing on a quick throw by John Ryan Murphy, which turned out to save a run from scoring, as Carlos Ruiz followed that play by hitting a solo home run to left. Billings decided to let John Mayberry in on the home run action, giving up another solo home run to left. 3-1 Phillies. Billings ended the inning with two strikeouts, but the damage was already done.

Brian Roberts made some nice plays on the field today (Pft, who needs Robinson Cano?). Alfonso Soriano managed to strikeout three times in his spring training debut. Scott Sizemore came on in the seventh and doubled to left off of Jeremy Horst. Adonis Garcia hit an RBI single through the gap in right that allowed Sizemore to slide into home just ahead of the tag. Horst walked Yangervis Solarte and Corban Joseph to load the bases, but Murphy lined out to center to end the inning.

Things got interesting in the seventh inning, when Mayberry hit a line drive double to right field off of Danny Burawa. Mayberry tried to stretch it to a triple and was thrown out at third in a close play that the Phillies wanted to challenge, but couldn't because the power happened to go out. So much for using the new instant replay system.

Gary Sanchez singled to lead off the eighth inning before coming around to score on a Jose Pirela triple that tied the game up at three a piece. The Yankees took the lead on a sac fly by Flores that scored Pirela for his second RBI of the game. Fred Lewis came on to close out the eighth inning for the Yankees and pitched a clean inning.

Solarte continued to swing a hot bat this spring with a single in the ninth but Joseph, Murphy, and Sanchez failed to drive him in. Lewis got a quick out in the ninth before being relieved by Mark Montgomery out of the bullpen. Montgomery got Darin Ruf swinging and induced a lazy fly out to end the game.

The Yankees take on the Tigers tomorrow night at 7:05 pm at Steinbrenner Field. Hiroki Kuroda is expected to make the start for New York and Michael Pineda will make his spring training debut out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, no video for the game will be available.