TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Robinson Cano has turned his attention from an international title to a World Series championship.
Cano rejoined the Yankees from the World Baseball Classic and got New York’s only hit Thursday night in a 6-1 loss to Minnesota Twins.
“I’m going to guess it probably helped him because the intensity was there and physically, probably, he’s in pretty good position right now,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Cano was picked as the MVP of the WBC after hitting .469 with two homers and six RBIs for the champion Dominican Republic.
“When I go there, just win it all,” Cano said. “We ended up winning. It’s a great feeling. Now, focusing on here.”
Cano singled in the fourth inning off Twins starter Liam Hendriks. The All-Star second baseman also made an error.
New York bench coach Tony Pena managed the Dominican Republic team, while Yankees left-hander Juan Cedeno made one appearance out of the bullpen.
Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera struck out three in one scoreless inning.
Drew Butera hit a three-run double in the Twins’ five-run fourth.
Minnesota third base prospect Miguel Sano had a pair of singles in his first major league spring training game.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had simple advice for Sano, who hit 28 homers last season for Single-A Beloit: “Have some fun.”
“Kind of get a feel for hanging around with the guys,” Gardenhire said. “It won’t be his last time. We’ll get him back over here. We got plenty more days.”
Hendriks, bidding for the final spot in Minnesota’s rotation, allowed an unearned run, struck out two and walked two over four innings.
“I was throwing offspeed pitches for strikes, I think every one of my pitches for strikes,” Hendriks said. “I threw some good pitches in there as well that were called balls that were close to getting swings.”
Another Twins starting contender, Cole De Vries, followed Hendriks with four hitless innings.
New York fifth-starter candidate David Phelps gave five runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked three during an 81-pitch outing.
NOTES: Girardi, as expected, said the probable starters for the Yankees’ first three regular season games will be LHP CC Sabathia, RHP Hiroki Kuroda and LHP Andy Pettitte. … Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey threw five innings in a minor league game. C Joe Mauer caught Pelfrey. … Gardenhire expects 3B Trevor Plouffe (strained calf) to be back in the lineup on Friday. … Yankees RHP Phil Hughes (bulging disk in the upper back) is scheduled to throw three innings in his first minor league game on Friday. … Kuroda will also pitch Friday in a minor league game. … Girardi said there’s a small possibility that left-handed reliever Clay Rapada (shoulder) will be ready for opening day.
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