Yankees' bullpen steps up in relief of Tanaka

Martin fans side to head group of stingy relievers gaining Opening Day experience

Yankees' bullpen steps up in relief of Tanaka

NEW YORK -- The Yankees did not plan on having the bullpen phone ring so early on Opening Day, but if there was any silver lining in Masahiro Tanaka's brief outing, at least they were able to get some Yankee Stadium debuts out of the way.

After Tanaka departed the Yanks' eventual 6-1 loss to the Blue Jays, relievers Chris Martin, Chasen Shreve and David Carpenter combined to retire 12 of the 13 batters from the fifth through the eighth innings.

"I thought they had a pretty good day," manager Joe Girardi said. "I thought to get all those guys in there, and some new guys who haven't pitched in Yankee Stadium, I thought they fared pretty well."

Rogers escapes jam

Martin struck out all three men he faced in the fifth, becoming just the second Yankee since 1914 to strike out every batter he faced in his team debut. The other pitcher was Edwar Ramirez, who accomplished the feat on July 3, 2007, against the Twins.

Shreve's only blemish was serving up Devon Travis' first Major League homer in the seventh inning, which also marked the rookie's first hit in the bigs. Carpenter pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Justin Wilson struggled in the ninth, walking three before yielding to long reliever Esmil Rogers, who recorded a big strikeout of Jose Bautista with the bases loaded.

Yankees pitchers tied their franchise Opening Day record with 12 strikeouts, equaling a mark set on April 6, 2012, against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.