Starlin Castro seems to have found his power stroke, as the shortstop hit another home run in Thursday’s 7-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Right handed pitcher Luis Severino pitched four scoreless innings to pick up the win at McKechnie Field.
Severino only gave up two hits and struck out five batters, as the New York Yankees needed to play catch-up from the beginning. Masahiro Tanaka started the game for the Yankees and gave up two runs in four innings, while striking out just one batter.
He allowed a long home run to center fielder Andrew McCutchen in the first inning and surrendered an RBI single to John Jaso in the second inning. Not a great start by Tanaka, who is looking to be ready for the Opening Day start.
Despite the slow spring, Tanaka is in line to start Opening Day on April 4 against the Houston Astros, who beat him in the American League Wild Card game just about six months ago.
Luckily Severino shut the Pirates down and allowed the Yankees to get back in the game. Second baseman Rob Refsnyder had an RBI groundout in the second inning and a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
Castro added his second home run of the spring in the fifth inning, which was a monster shot over the centerfield wall. That put them up 4-2, giving Castro his eighth RBI of the spring.
Third baseman Chase Headley also added a sacrifice fly in the inning to put the Yankees up three and to chase Pirates starter Jeff Locke. Locke allowed five runs on six hits, in five innings to get the loss and raise his ERA to 7.07.
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The Yankees added two more runs in the seventh inning. The sixth run of the afternoon happened when catcher Austin Romine reached on an error by Pirate third baseman Pedro Florimon, scoring infielder Pete Kozma. Later in the inning, outfielder Cesar Puello scored when infielder Jonathan Diaz grounded into a double play.
Up next for the Yankees is a Friday night game against division rival Baltimore at 6:35 p.m. It will be Brett Gardner‘s second game for the Yankees and C.C. Sabathia‘s third. Sabathia is looking to bounce back from a poor start against Philadelphia, as he battles for that number five spot in the rotation.