Yoon shines in debut as Orioles beat Yankees 2-1
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) South Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon threw one shutout inning in his debut with the Baltimore Orioles, who got a home run from Chris Davis in a 2-1 victory over a New York Yankees' split-squad Saturday.
The 27-year-old Yoon didn't exactly face a Murderer's Row of Yankees, who sent most of their stars to Panama for an exhibition game.
Yoon entered in the seventh with the score tied at 1. He gave up a single to Ramon Flores, then retired Mason Williams and Kyle Roller on fly balls. He ended his 11-pitch stint by getting Carmen Angelini to bounce out to second.
Yoon earned the win when Davis homered off Mark Montgomery in the bottom half. Davis has three homers in 22 at-bats after leading the majors with 53 last season.
Yoon's first pitch was clocked at 91. On his next offering, Flores laced a looper to left.
''Overall, I gave up the hit. My control was better than expected, but I also feel like my fastball was 2 mph faster than I expected,'' Yoon said.
Yoon went 73-59 with a 3.19 ERA in nine seasons with the KIA Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization. Although that league is not comparable to the big leagues, it did serve to prepare him for this outing against the Yankees.
''I knew I'd be nervous, but I pitched nine years in Korea so overall I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be,'' Yoon said.
Yoon signed a three-year contract with the Orioles in February, but his debut was delayed by difficulties in obtaining a work visa. He hopes to ultimately be a part of Baltimore's starting rotation, but he's already got some ground to make up.
''It's going to take about 20 days to get to midseason form,'' he said.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter liked what he saw in Yoon, especially under the circumstances.
''You know there's a lot of emotion flying around there,'' he said. ''I thought he presented himself well the first time out. Think about the whirlwind he's had in his life the last two months.''
New York got its lone run in the sixth inning, when Francisco Arcia homered off starter Chris Tillman to make it 1-0.
Yankees: Vidal Nuno blanked Baltimore over four innings, allowing one hit and one hit with three strikeouts.
It was his second start this spring. The left-hander allowed one run in two innings against Toronto on March 2.
Orioles: Tillman pitched five innings of two-hit ball before Arcia connected in the sixth.
He gave up three hits, struck out five and walked two. The right-hander has permitted one run or fewer in three of his four starts this spring.
Tillman will likely make his first opening day start on March 31 against Boston. Showalter is expected to announce his start on Monday.
Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is expected to start Sunday for New York against Atlanta.
Tanaka will throw 75 pitches. At this point, he's trying to develop a regimen for pitching with four days rest.
''See what schedule works for him as far as throwing in-between, and how he feels on the day (he pitches),'' pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. ''He's worked toward that.''
New York manager Joe Girardi has said Tanaka will make his first start of the regular season either in the third game at Houston, or the fourth in Toronto.
Orioles: Catcher Matt Wieters gave his sprained right ankle another day of rest and expects to return Monday. Wieters hasn't played since Tuesday, when he rolled the ankle while rounding third base.
''That's what I'm shooting for,'' he said. ''If it was the regular season I'd be good to go but you don't want to make it worse or hurt anything else.''
Baltimore was also without infielder Alexi Casilla (hyperextended knee) and outfielder David Lough (stiff neck).
Casilla is 0-for-5 this spring and intends to hurry back in his effort to make the team as a utility player.
''We don't have many games left so, I have a short period to prove myself,'' he said.
He will get that chance Sunday on the road against Toronto, Showalter said.
Yankees: Second baseman Brian Roberts started against his former team, one day after fouling a ball off the inside of his left knee. He went 2 for 3 to lift his batting average to .217.
Shortstop Eduardo Nunez took batting practice on a scheduled off day after getting kicked in the left thigh by a sliding Chris Colabello in Friday's game against Minnesota.