Notes: Masahiro Tanaka throws 2 scoreless in debut

Masahiro Tanaka struck out three and gave up two hits to the Phillies.
Scott Iskowitz/ Getty Images
Masahiro Tanaka struck out three and gave up two hits to the Phillies.

Masahiro Tanaka stood by his locker after a successful debut, talking about his sharp split-fingered fastball, something that made him so successful in Japan.

Even so, Tanaka is way more than a one-pitch kind of guy.

Asked how many different pitches he threw Saturday in his first spring training game for the New York Yankees, Tanaka started counting on his fingers.


‘‘Seven,’’ he said in English.

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‘‘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.’’

Tanaka threw two scoreless innings, striking out three, and giving up a pair of singles in the Yankees’ 4-0 victory over the Phillies in Tampa.

Tanaka came in after CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda each pitched two innings.

‘‘The biggest thing was he looked calm out there,’’ Kuroda said of his countryman through an interpreter. ‘‘And the command was there, so he was good.’’


In a rare scene, Yankees star Derek Jeter was left alone in the clubhouse while Francisco Cervelli, who caught Tanaka, was surrounded by reporters.

Tanaka signed a $155 million, seven-year contract in January.

The Yankees said Saturday’s game was carried by three TV networks in Japan.

Rodriguez escapes unrest

Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez reported to spring training in Phoenix 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 in his native country.


‘‘He was right in the middle of everything,’’ Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. ‘‘He hasn’t been able to do much baseball-wise because he didn’t want to leave the house.’’

Twins’ Sano done for year

Twins prospect Miguel Sano will have Tommy John surgery on his right (throwing) arm and miss the 2014 season. The 20-year-old third baseman had been trying to rehabilitate a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He was hurt in October while playing winter ball in his native Dominican Republic . . . Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is dealing with soreness in his right forearm and will be sidelined for at least a few days.

Braun jeered in home debut

Ryan Braun ignored loud boos in his home spring debut, producing a single and a walk as a Brewers split squad beat the Dodgers, 6-5, in Phoenix. The former NL MVP was suspended for the final 65 games of the season last year for his role in the Biogenesis drug scandal. Braun’s first at-bat at Maryvale Baseball Park was met with a vocal and extended chorus of boos, especially from the third-base side loaded with a large contingent of Dodgers fans. In the third, Brewers fans on the first-base side tried to drown out the boos with a louder round of cheers before his infield single . . . Righthander Brad Penny returned to the mound after sitting out last year. Penny allowed three runs on five hits, including a long homer by Cameron Maybin, in two innings. Despite the rough outing, Penny picked up the win in the Royals’ 7-3 victory over the Padres.