One hiccup hurts Yankees in 2-1 loss to Twins

TAMPA - Two home runs were the only blemishes on a true pitching duel in Tampa Monday night, but unfortunately for the Yankees, the Twins' homer was enough to hand the Bombers a 2-1 loss at Steinbrenner Field.

Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka was charged with two runs on four hits, with one walk and six strikeouts, over four innings, but almost all of that damage came in the second inning; he actually struck out the side in that frame, but also allowed a double, a two-run Bobby Wilson homer, and then a single and that one walk.

Otherwise, Tanaka was spot on, sandwiching two strikeouts around a 1-3 groundout in the first and allowing only a Robbie Grossman single over his final two innings, and the Yankees' bullpen finished it out by allowing only two hits and a hit batsman over five scoreless innings.

Unfortunately, though, Tyler Austin's solo homer in the fourth was the Yankees' only score, but it's not like they didn't have chances. Their best came in the third, when Ronald Torreyes doubled to open the frame, but he got a bad read on Tyler Wade's double to right, heading back for second instead of running on contact; Torreyes was then thrown out at the plate on a 9-4-2 putout, and while Wade got to third on the throw, he was stranded there by two foul outs.

The final two innings brought two last rally attempts, but in the eighth, the Yankees stranded two runners in scoring position, and in the ninth, they put runners on first and second with two outs but saw Jace Peterson line out to end the game.

Overall at the plate, Austin's homer was the biggest blow of the Yankees' eight hits, and he also drew a walk in his three plate appearances. Tyler Wade had two of the other seven hits, the third-inning double and a later bunt single, Torreyes was 2-for-4 playing the whole game at shortstop, and Greg Bird, Brandon Drury, and Austin Romine rounded out the hit column with one each.

On the mound after Tanaka, Dellin Betances struck out both batters he faced in the fifth, and Chasen Shreve retired his only batter faced. Domingo German then came on and impressed, allowing only one hit and striking out three in three scoreless innings, and Tommy Kahnle finished it out in the ninth, allowing one hit, striking out one, and making a nice defensive play along the way.

With the loss, the Yankees drop to 11-6 on the spring, but they'll have a quick turnaround to try to get back on track; Tuesday beings a day game against the Tigers, and CC Sabathia vs. Jordan Zimmermann is the scheduled pitching matchup in a game you can see live on YES beginning at 1 p.m.