Sanchez, Carter hit first spring homers

Sanchez, Carter hit first spring homers

TAMPA, Fla. -- Gary Sanchez and Chris Carter hit their first homers of the year while Masahiro Tanaka worked two scoreless innings in his spring debut, helping the Yankees beat the Tigers, 9-5, on Tuesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Left-hander Daniel Norris started for Detroit and permitted a hit and a walk over 1 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out one. Dominic Ficociello hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning off the Yanks' Jonathan Holder. Ian Kinsler went 1-for-3.

"You get out there and, not that you notice the fans, but you feel the energy there and the batter in the box," Norris said of his first outing of the spring. "It's good to get back out there, but I'm obviously kind of frustrated with it."

Sanchez launched a two-run shot in the third inning off Drew VerHagen and Carter added a solo shot in the fourth. Sanchez hit 20 homers in 53 games last year, while Carter tied for the National League lead with 41 homers as a member of the Brewers.

"To hit the first one of the spring, I feel good about that," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "I've got to say, I hit it under a little bit and the wind grabbed a hold of it and helped me out. That's baseball. Sometimes it's the other way around, where you hit it really hard and the wind is blowing in and it doesn't go anywhere. So I'll take it."

Ruben Tejada stroked a RBI single in the fourth inning while Starlin Castro, Chase Headley and Clint Frazier all drove in runs during a four-run New York fifth.

Tanaka looked sharp as he begins to gear up for his third consecutive Opening Day assignment. The right-hander did not permit a hit as he induced four ground balls and struck out two in a 25-pitch outing (16 for strikes).

"It means that the batter is off-balance," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "I think that's a good sign."


Tigers: Detroit has its first split-squad day of the spring on Wednesday. While reigning American League Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer heads west with Justin Upton and James McCann to Dunedin for a 1:05 p.m. ET matchup against the Blue Jays, Miguel Cabrera, Kinsler, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez stay in Lakeland to face the Nationals in a 1:05 contest, which will air on Gameday Audio, at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Yankees: New York is under the lights for the first time this spring on Wednesday, hosting the Braves in a 6:35 p.m. contest at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Right-hander Bryan Mitchell is set to make his second Grapefruit League start, with left-hander Jaime Garcia going for Atlanta. Catch all the action on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.