Masahiro Tanaka isn’t going to have his best stuff all the time. He didn’t have his best stuff early, but he was able to get the job done as the Yankees beat the Twins 5-4 for their seventh straight Spring Training victory.
Tanaka was in trouble right away as Brian Dozier led off the bottom half of the first inning. Two groundouts by Kurt Suzuki and Joe Mauer made it 1-0.
Tanaka got in a real pickle in the third. With two out, Dozier singled. Suzuki reached on a Scott Sizemore error and Mauer walked to load the bases. Josh Willingham just missed a grand slam and flew out in front of the left field fence.
Sizemore would be a big part of the Yankees four run rally off Kevin Correia. With one out, Eduardo Nunez and Kelly Johnson singled and Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch by Correia brought home Nunez and moved the other two over a base. Sizemore brought in two with a single. Dean Anna followed with a single. Two batters later, Zelous Wheeler brought home Sizemore with a double.
The Twins fought back in the sixth off Tanaka. Suzuki singled and Willingham was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Jason Kubel doubled in a run and Trevor Plouffe groundout made it 4-3.
The Yanks added a run in the seventh. Zoilo Almonte doubled. Wheeler and Raybell Herrera singled in Almonte.
The Twins would get one more run off Yoshinori Tateyama when Eduardo Escobar hit a solo homer to right field.
Michael Pineda will get another tune-up for the season against Mark Buehrle and the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 tomorrow afternoon. It can be seen on YES and MLB Network.