Tanaka Hit, Mets Bang Yanks, 7-2

first_imgTAMPA, Fla. — Masahiro Tanaka is staying away from one pitch and working on another.Tanaka allowed three runs and four hits while pitching into the fifth inning March 25 for the New York Yankees in a 7-2 loss to the rival Mets.The Japanese ace is not using his higher speed four-seam fastball and instead is focusing on a slower two-seam sinker.“A lot of the four-seamers had been hit hard last year,” Tanaka said through a translator. “I’m not a pitcher that throws 95 every single pitch.”Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said Tanaka is trying to improve his game.“I think there’s room for both,” Girardi said. “Sometimes you get some quick outs with sinkers. There’s more movement.”After allowing an unearned run in the first, Tanaka gave up a solo homer to John Mayberry, Jr. in the fourth The third run charged to Tanaka came when struggling closer candidate Dellin Betances gave up Juan Lagares’ two-run shot during the fifth.Tanaka struck out seven and walked one in 4 2-3 innings. The Yankees’ expected opening-day starter, against Toronto on April 6, was coming off two starts where the he had given up two hits over 5 2-3 shutout innings.“I think I was able to get into the game a little bit more, the intensity of the game,” Tanaka said.Alex Rodriguez grounded a single to left in three at-bats as the designated hitter for the Yankees, and is hitting .290 (9-for-31).New York General Manager Brian Cashman said before the game that Rodriguez has pushed himself into full-time DH consideration. A-Rod, who turns 40 in July, missed last season serving a drug suspension.“We still have 10 days to go and obviously that feels good, but I have a lot of work to do,” Rodriguez said. “I think I’m getting better. It’s still a process moving forward the next 10 days.”(MARK DIDTLER)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

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