Ellsbury hitless in return, Yankees lose 5-2 to Twins
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Jacoby Ellsbury was hitless in three at-bats after missing a week with a right wrist injury as the New York Yankees lost 5-2 to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Ellsbury was hit by a 90 mph pitch by Atlanta's Julio Teheran on March 19. The center fielder hit two grounders and popped out, and played six innings in the field.
''There's still bruising and a little swelling in there but I felt like I could do everything I needed to do,'' Ellsbury said. ''I was pleased with the first day. I'm in the lineup for the night game tomorrow so it's good.''
Ellsbury made a tumbling catch going forward on Juan Centeno's fifth-inning fly ball.
Brett Gardner hit a solo homer off Phil Hughes, who allowed one run, three hits, one walk and had one strikeout in six innings against what could the Yankees' normal regular-season lineup.
''I think that was as close to their opening day lineup as you're going to get,'' Hughes said. ''It was a good test to see that. That's a lineup that can hurt you. You don't just want to cruise through spring training all the time. Top to bottom there's not an easy out in that lineup, so it was good to see that and work through that.''
Hughes will start the Twins' third regular-season game April 7 at Baltimore.
Nathan Eovaldi gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1-3 innings for the Yankees. He struck out five and walked two.
Danny Santana had three hits, including a pair of run-scoring doubles off Eovaldi. The second RBI hit came during a four-run sixth that put the Twins ahead 5-1.
Twins: Tommy Milone will follow Hughes in the regular-season rotation.
Yankees: Expected opening day starter Masahiro Tanaka will make his final spring training start Tuesday for a split-squad against Philadelphia. ... Fifth-starter frontrunner CC Sabathia will take the hill for the other squad Tuesday in a game with Pittsburgh
Yankees: Rob Refsnyder will not be the backup infielder after being optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Normally a second baseman, Refsynder struggled at third this spring. ''Our feeling is we want him to go play more at third,'' manager Joe Girardi said. In-camp options are Pete Kozma and Ronald Torreyes although Girardi didn't rule out someone from outside the organization being brought in. ... OF Chris Denorfia exercised his opt-out and was released.
RARE FREE PASS
Chase Headley's walk in the fifth is the only free pass allowed by Hughes in 16 1-3 innings.
Twins: Fifth-starter candidate Tyler Duffey faces Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole Monday. ... Ricky Nolasco, also bidding for the final rotation spot, will throw in a minor league game.
Yankees: Luis Cessa will start against Detroit's Bud Farmer Monday night.