Spring training breakdown: Pirates 6, Yankees 5
Yankees starter: RPH Ivan Nova threw 35 pitches in 11⁄3 innings. “Maybe more than I was expecting in the first game,” said Nova, who'll open the season as the Yankees' No. 4 starter.
Pirates starter: Although most starters are working two innings in their debuts, LHP Francisco Liriano was scheduled for only one. He still got in a lot of work, facing seven batters and allowing two runs on three hits.
Ka-boom: Tony Sanchez blasted a three-run homer to center field in the seventh inning. Sanchez also homered Tuesday in the Black vs. Gold intrasquad scrimmage.
Firing fastballs: Liriano threw mostly sinkers and four-seam fastballs. “I'll throw my breaking stuff later this spring,” he said. “I use my slider a lot, but first I need to get my release point with my fastball.”
Good times: A team of Little Leaguers was on the field when the Pirates ran out to their positions. The kid in center field talked Andrew McCutchen into giving him an airborne “fun bunch” bump before leaving the field.
Stock up: Good signs from Gaby Sanchez. He patiently worked a walk off Nova to start the second inning, then made a daring dash from second to third on Jose Tabata's flyout. Sanchez scored on Jordy Mercer's single.
Stock down: After topping the NL with 186 strikeouts last season, Pedro Alvarez already is keeping up the pace. He went down swinging in the first inning and looking in the second, stranding a total of five runners.
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