By Jason Beck and Bryan Hoch
MLB.com |@beckjason |
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Masahiro Tanaka continued his spring-long mastery of the Tigers, then Chasen Shreve and Jordan Montgomery kept it going, sending the Yankees on their way to a combined no-hitter in a 3-0 win on Friday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
It marked the Yankees' first non-shortened Spring Training no-hitter since 1983, and the first no-no in Lakeland since Ricky Nolasco and two Marlins relievers no-hit the Tigers in 2009. It is also the first no-hitter in Grapefruit League play since nine Braves achieved the feat against the Astros on March 8, 2015, and fifth of Spring Training since at least '05.
"I'm happy for our guys," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They pitched well, we played really good defense behind them, and it's fun. Obviously it means more if it's during the regular season, but still, it's a no-hitter."
Tanaka struck out six in 4 1/3 frames, his second hitless outing of four-plus innings against the Tigers in a week. Add in two perfect innings against Detroit on Feb. 28, and the right-hander has gone 10 1/3 hitless frames versus Detroit in Grapefruit League play. He hadn't allowed a Tigers baserunner all spring until back-to-back first-inning walks to Nicholas Castellanos and J.D. Martinez.
"I feel like I've been pitching well this Spring Training. On top of that, the results have been there," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "I think everything is going on the right track for me."
"We were hitting the ball," Romine said. "They weren't dropping for some of them. Some other at-bats just weren't good at-bats."
Once Romine lined out softly to third in the ninth, Montgomery had completed the gem.
"It means something to us," Romine said. "You may say the stats don't, but coming back in and seeing a zero up on the scoreboard doesn't feel good. It doesn't look good. Nobody likes it."
Added Tigers manager Brad Ausmus: "There's pride involved. You don't want to get no-hit, whether it's Spring Training or regular season, Wiffle ball in the backyard."
Tigers starter Michael Fulmer tried to keep pace, escaping a bases-loaded jam after two walks in a 29-pitch opening inning before retiring the Yankees in order in the second and third. But Matt Holliday and Chase Headley doubled down the outfield lines, a trend that continued when Rob Refsnyder sent a Fulmer pitch to the wall in left-center. Ronald Torreyes singled Refsnyder home for the three-run cushion.
"I don't know what it was. Ball was a little dry, I feel like," Fulmer said. "It just took me a little while to get adjusted. Couldn't find a release point, yanking changeup, I don't think I threw an offspeed pitch for a strike until the third inning. It was kind of one of those things. I just couldn't really grip the ball that well."
Yankees Up Next:CC Sabathia will make his third spring start at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday when the Yankees host the Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The game can be watched live on MLB.TV. Sabathia will try to bounce back from a rough outing against the Braves in which he permitted six runs (four earned) in 2 2/3 innings. Dylan Bundy gets the call for Baltimore.
Tigers Up Next:Justin Verlander takes the mound on Saturday for his fifth start of the spring as Detroit embarks on its final split-squad set of the year. While Verlander faces the Marlins in a 1:05 p.m. ET game at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Mike Pelfrey will start against the Braves at the same time at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex. Both can be heard live on Gameday Audio.