Robinson Cano, Trevor Bauer lead Red Devils past Yankees
Robinson Cano, Trevor Bauer lead Red Devils past Yankees

Robinson Cano hit a home run and had two RBIs and Trevor Bauer pitched three scoreless innings Sunday as the Diablos Rojos del Mexico beat the New York Yankees 4-3 in the first of two exhibition games in Mexico City.

Cano, 41, playing in Mexico for the first time in his career, went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Cano hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and lined a line drive to center field in the seventh for his second RBI.

Canó played 17 seasons in the majors, nine of them with the Yankees, with whom he won the World Series in 2009. He signed with the Diablos Rojos a few weeks ago.

“All I want is to win. I don’t worry about personal stats,” Cano said. “It felt good to hit home because of the fans, they give you extra energy. As a player, I like to play in big moments and play for something.”

Bauer made his first start for Diablos Rojos, who signed him for five games earlier in the week. He allowed four hits and no runs in three innings, with three strikeouts and two walks.

“My command was a bit wrong. I would like to not walk two people,” Bauer said. “It’s my first time throwing at that height, so the ball moves a little bit differently. But it was a good day. The fans were amazing.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “I thought his stuff looked good to me. Obviously he has great stuff. I thought we played pretty good shots against him. We couldn’t break through.”

The 33-year-old right-hander is trying to return to the major leagues after serving a suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence, sexual abuse and child abuse rules after a San Diego woman said he beat and sexually assaulted her , a charge he denied.

Bauer arrived in Mexico City on Thursday. He said he wanted to face the Yankees in his first outing for the Diablos Rojos.

“That was definitely part of the decision (to come to Mexico),” Bauer said. “I thought it would be fun to play against the Yankees and do some content to entertain the fans. I want to play baseball. I enjoy doing it and there are many things about this organization that are very good.”

Japhet Amador and Aristides Aquino had RBI grounders in the sixth inning to score Canó and Jose Rondon, respectively.

Connor Menez, who played four seasons in the majors, was the winning pitcher, allowing one hit and no runs in one inning.

Tanner Tully, who spent most of the 2023 season in Triple-A, took the loss with one earned run in four innings, while reliever Jonathan Loaisiga allowed two runs and three hits in 1⅔ innings.

Pinch hitter Carlos Narvaez doubled and Cole Gabrielson added an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Yankees, who traveled to Mexico without any members of their projected starting rotation and with Giancarlo Stanton among the few regulars in their lineup.

Stanton went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Omar Minaya, the Yankees’ senior advisor for baseball operations, talked to him about the trip and he agreed to come.

“This is important for Mexico City,” Stanton said. “It’s fun for baseball. It’s a great bonding, the two leagues together and the countries.”

Yankees outfielder Alex Verdugo, who played for Mexico in the World Series, did not travel due to family reasons, Boone said.

“Verdugo was really excited, but his girlfriend is pregnant and their child is due in a few weeks and she had to go to the hospital,” Boone said. “I know he’s upset he can’t be here, but he had to be there in case the baby came.”

The Yankees played in Mexico for the first time since 1968, when they played four exhibition games, two against Diablos Rojos and two against Tigres.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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