Masahiro Tanaka allowed two hits and struck out three over two scoreless innings in his first spring training game for the New York Yankees.
“I felt pretty good out there,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “I was nervous, but it was a really good nervousness. I’m relieved to be able to throw against the batters over here.”
The Japanese star entered in the fifth inning of Sat-urday’s 4-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Some fans in the announced crowd of 10,934 at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., stood as Tanaka walked to the mound to a loud ovation.
“A buzz around the park,” Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia said.
Tanaka signed a $155 million, seven-year contract in January. He was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year while leading Rakuten to its first Japan Series title.
Darin Ruf, the first batter Tanaka faced, swung and missed the right-hander’s first two pitches before lining a single. After getting a pair of flyballs, Tanaka struck out a swinging Cesar Hernandez.
In the sixth, Tanaka fanned a swinging Ben Revere before Ronny Cedeno blooped a single. Domonic Brown
went down swinging and pinch
hitter Kelly Dugan flied out.
TWINS: Slugging prospect Miguel Sano will have Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm and miss the season.
The third baseman had been trying to rehabilitate a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The Twins said the surgery will likely take place in March.
BREWERS: Relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez has reported to spring training after acquiring a work visa and leaving an unsettled situation in Venezuela.
Rodriguez had been trying to get out of Caracas since signing a one-year contract with the Brewers on Feb. 7.
Rodriguez’s girlfriend and his two children came with him. They left an area that has been affected by the deaths of anti-government protesters.
METS: Closer Bobby Parnell threw batting practice Saturday, facing batters for the first time since his 2013 season was cut short by a neck injury.
Parnell last pitched in a game on July 30. He missed the final two months of the season and had surgery Sept. 10 to repair a herniated disc in his neck. The right-hander threw 36 pitches to David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Eric Young Jr.
MARINERS: Manager Lloyd McClendon said Saturday it would be “hard pressed” for either Hisashi Iwakuma or Taijuan Walker to be in the rotation on Opening Day because of their injury setbacks during spring training.
McClendon said the injuries to Iwakuma (finger) and Walker (shoulder) will open up chances for others in camp, but also leave a rotation that had questions entering spring training even more uncertain.
RANGERS: Shortstop Elvis Andrus is dealing with soreness in his right forearm and will be sidelined for at least a few days.
TIGERS: Agreed to terms with eight players on contracts for the 2014 season: right-handers Melvin Mercedes and Bruce Rondon, left-handers Jose Alvarez and Ian Krol, catcher Bryan Holaday, and infielders Steve Lombardozzi, Francisco Martinez and Hernan Perez.