Tanaka Debuts, Phils Beat Yanks

By on March 6, 2016

 

Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco connects for a single in Sunday's game. (photo Buck Davidson)

Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco connects for a single in Sunday’s game. (photo Buck Davidson)

The Philadelphia Phillies topped the New York Yankees 6-5 Sunday in front of a sellout crowd of 9,877 fans at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida. The Phillies bats were quiet most of the day, but the team racked up its third win of the spring thanks to one big inning and a lack of timely hitting by the Yankees, who stranded 11 runners on the day.

New York opened the day’s scoring in the bottom of the third when second baseman Starlin Castro lashed a two-out RBI single through the hole at shortstop to score Rob Refsnyder, who had singled to lead off the frame. The teams traded zeros otherwise, and they had amassed just four hits between them by the time the game reached the bottom of the sixth inning.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had a successful outing in his first 2016 spring appearance. (photo Buck Davidson)

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had a successful outing in his first 2016 spring appearance. (photo Buck Davidson)

The game changed dramatically at that point, though, as the Phillies exploded for six runs to take what appeared to be a commanding five-run lead. Andrew Knapp provided the big blow with a long home run to right-center field, which plated the final three runs of the frame. Earlier in the inning, first baseman Brock Stassi had driven home the Phils’ first run with a sacrifice fly to center.

The Yankees were far from finished, though, and the Bronx Bombers answered the Phillies’ outburst with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning. Aaron Judge drew a one-out walk, and he scored on Austin Romine’s double to right-center field. Romine moved to third on a single by Jorge Mateo, who promptly stole second base. Tyler Wade’s infield single plated Romine, with Mateo moving to third. After Carlos Corporan had walked to load the bases, Philadelphia called upon reliever Ernesto Frieri, who struck out Dustin Fowler and retired Deibinson Romero on a pop foul to first base to end the Yankee threat.

New York continued to chip away in the top of the eighth, scoring a pair of runs on Romine’s booming double to left-center to cut the Phils’ lead to a single run. The Bombers were unable to climb any closer, though, and Philadelphia’s Jeanmar Gomez pitched the ninth inning to notch his first save of the spring.

Phillies’ starting pitcher Charlie Morton turned in a good performance, allowing just one hit and one walk in 2.1 innings. Morton threw 50 pitches, 35 of which were for strikes, and he was charged with an earned run when reliever Daniel Stumpf allowed one of two inherited runners to score. Offensively, Knapp provided one of the game’s key moments with his three-run shot, and he also drew a walk in four plate appearances.

Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka tossed two shutout innings in his first appearance of the spring, allowing two hits, walking one batter and striking out two. Tanaka threw 20 strikes among his 31 total pitches; his fastball was clocked at 92 mph on the Bright House Field radar gun. Romine provided a good portion of the New York offense, collecting a pair of doubles and plating three RBIs.

The Phillies will head to Bradenton for a date with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, March 7, and then host the Buccos at Bright House Field on Tuesday, March 8.

 

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