Phillies overtake Yankees following Tanaka's debut
By Greg Zeck
Special to MLB.com |
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Making his 2016 Grapefruit League debut, Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka fought through a long second inning but came out unscathed for a successful start against the Phillies.
The same couldn't be said of the New York bullpen as Philadelphia scored six runs in the sixth inning en route to a 6-5 win on Sunday in front of a capacity crowd of 9,877 at Bright House Field.
Tanaka retired all three batters he faced in the first but then allowed back-to-back singles to Maikel Franco and Brock Stassi to open the second. Rob Refsnyder made a slick pick at third base to start a 5-4-3 double play, putting a runner on third with two outs. Tanaka then walked Cedric Hunter before striking out David Lough to end his day.
It was Tanaka's first game action since undergoing surgery in mid-October to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.
For the Phillies, Charlie Morton pitched a solid 2 1/3 innings. He retired the first six batters he faced but allowed a single to Refsnyder and a walk to Lane Adams to start the third. After striking out Slade Heathcott, Morton's day was done.
Philadelphia responded in the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff single by Freddy Galvis off Chad Green. Odubel Herrera also knocked a single before Franco walked to load the bases. Stassi hit a sacrifice fly to make it 1-1.
Gabriel Lino walked to reload the bases and Hunter hit a fly ball to left. Ben Gamel fired home but Herrera slid under the tag. Lough's single made it 3-1.
"He's got a great swing from both sides of the plate," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Knapp. "He looks like a hitter, like he knows what he's doing. He's got some size, he's got some power, nice swing."
In the seventh, New York scored runs on an Austin Romine double and Tyler Wade infield single to pull within three. Romine doubled home two more runs in the eighth to make it 6-5.
Up next for the Phillies:Vincent Velasquez will take the bump for the Phillies on the road against the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET, live on MLB.TV and an exclusive mlb.com audio webcast. A key piece in this offseason's Ken Giles trade, Velasquez will look to rebound from a shaky spring debut, which saw him give up three runs but strike out three in two innings against the Blue Jays.
Greg Zeck is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.