1. Tanaka Overcomes Early Struggles To Win In Debut: Japanese pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka took the mound for his first big league start on Friday as the Yankees took on the Blue Jays at the Rogers Center in Toronto. He received a rude welcome from former Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera, who led off the game with a home run. The Blue Jays also scored two runs in the second inning on an RBI single by Jonathan Diaz. Though it wasn’t the beginning Tanaka had hoped for, he recovered and ended up with 7 IP, 3 runs (2 earned), 8 strikeouts, 6 hits, and 0 walks. Also, he joined Rich Beck as the only Yankees starters with 8-plus strikeouts and no walks in his Major League debut. The Yankees won the game, 7-3.
2. Teixeira Leaves Game With Strained Right Hamstring: After driving in a run in the first inning, Mark Teixeira left the game in the second inning with an apparent hamstring strain that he suffered while chasing a foul ball. Though he will undergo an MRI on Monday when the Yankees return to New York, the slugging first baseman sounds like a man who is bound for the disabled list. “We’ll see how it feels in the morning, but I’m not super optimistic about it,” Teixeira said following the Yankees 7-3 win over Toronto.
3. Yankees Bats Wake Up: After scoring only seven runs during their first three games of the 2014 season, the Yankees tagged Blue Jays pitching for 7 runs and 16 hits on Friday at the Rogers Center. In fact, the only Yankee without a hit was Brian Roberts, who entered the game for an injured Mark Teixeira in the second inning. Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a walk. The only out he made was a hard hit line drive off the body of Blue Jays pitcher Steve Delabar that turned into a force out because of a nice play by first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. Brett Gardner went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Kelly Johnson had two hits including a triple off of Brett Cecil in the seventh inning. Yangervis Solarte also went 2-for-5 with two doubles and 3 RBI. Overall, a solid night for the Yankees.
4. Saturday’s Match-Up: Michael Pineda will finally make his Yankees debut after missing the past two seasons due to shoulder surgery. He won the Yankees’ fifth starter spot by posting a 1.20 ERA in 15 spring training innings. He will be facing knuckleballer R.A. Dickey…and those are your Bomber Bites for April 5th!