TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Masahiro Tanaka pitched two shutout innings in his spring training debut, allowing two hits and striking out three as New York Yankees blanked the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0 on Saturday.
The Japanese star entered in the fifth inning, following CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. Some fans stood when Tanaka took the mound.
Both Sabathia and Kuroda threw two shutout innings.
Tanaka signed a $155 million, seven-year contract in January. He was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year while leading the Rakuten Golden Eagles to their first Japan Series title.
Tanaka features a sharp split-fingered fastball. He struck out All-Star Domonic Brown in the sixth.
“I felt that I was a little nervous,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. Tanaka said he was “relieved” that he got “to be able to throw against the batters over here.”
Tanaka gave up a line single to Darin Ruf, the first batter he faced, while Ronny Cedeno flared a single in the sixth.
Yankees: Sabathia gave up two hits and struck out one. After the worst of his 13 major league seasons, when the left-hander went 14-13 and set a career high for ERA (4.78), Sabathia reported at 275 pounds, 40 below his high in 2010.
Kuroda allowed a bunt single and struck out two.
Phillies: David Buchanan struck out three in two scoreless innings. The right-hander pitched last season for Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Derek Jeter went 0 for 2 with a walk in his second game and is hitless in four at-bats overall. The shortstop turned a nifty double play in the third, fielding Ben Revere’s grounder up the middle, tagging out baserunner Cesar Hernandez and then throwing to first to complete the play.
Jeter announced last month that will be retiring after the 2014 season.
The Yankees had hoped that Alfonso Soriano, coming back from flulike symptoms, might have ready to make his debut Sunday, but the outfielder is still experiencing dizziness and will miss a few more games.
The Yankees will wear their pinstripe uniforms in games March 15 and 16 in Panama against Miami.
Retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will be honored at the games. David Robertson, the Yankees’ new closer, will be making the trip. Jeter will also play.
Marlon Byrd had the name “Iverson” on his uniform during batting practice to honor former basketball star Allen Iverson, who was having his jersey retired Saturday night by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Bobby Abreu, a non-roster player who was out of the big leagues last season after hitting .242 in 100 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels in 2012, went 1 for 3, including a first-inning single off Sabathia.
Alfredo Gonzalez allowed one run, two hits, four walks and struck out two in 1 2-3 innings. He got out of a base-loaded jam by getting grounder from Brian Roberts to end the third, but gave up Ichiro Suzuki’s RBI single in the fourth.
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