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Baseball: Braves fall hard to Yankees

The Associated Press

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Masahiro Tanaka pitched 3 2-3 shutout innings and the New York Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves 12-5 Wednesday.

Tanaka gave up two hits and struck out three without a walk in his second spring start, both against Atlanta. He threw two perfect innings last week.

Tanaka said his arm felt fine and that he’ll be ready to begin the season.

“Overall everything was good,” he said through is translator. “It’s my second start and it was as good as my first start. It just seems like everything was working.”

Tanaka got off to an All-Star start last year during his first season in the majors. The Japanese right-hander later missed 2 1/2 months because of a partially torn ligament in his elbow.

Brian McCann and Stephen Drew both homered off Braves reliever James Russell. Didi Gregorius went 3 for 3 with an RBI.

Kelly Johnson hit a three-run homer for the Braves. New catcher A.J. Pierzynski got a hit and raised his spring average to .471.

Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz gave up one run and three hits in 3 2-3 innings.

STARTING TIME

Braves: Foltynewicz, competing for the final spot in the rotation, has a 5.40 ERA this spring. He was acquired from the Houston Astros in the offseason and struggled in his first two spring starts for the Braves.

“I know I need to start opening some eyes,” he said. “I’ve been working on adjustments and I am not trying to be something that I’m not. But tonight was a big confidence boost.”

Manager Fredi Gonzalez wasn’t making any predictions, but he said he liked what he saw.

“I thought he was electric tonight,” Gonzalez said. “He had knees buckling and I can’t wait to see him again. He is definitely in the mix for a starting job.”

UP NEXT

Yankees: Esmil Rogers will start on Thursday at Steinbrenner Field against Philadelphia.

Braves: Manny Banuelos will make his third appearance of the spring, facing Miami.

LONG NIGHT

The Braves’ first night game of the spring stretched to nearly four hours.

“I guess they were trying to make it to 10 o’clock so they could see the fireworks from Disney,” Gonzalez said.

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