Tate sparkles for Tampa in season debut

No. 13 Yankees prospect yields three hits in 5 2/3 shutout innings

Dillon Tate was traded to the Yankees from the Rangers in exchange for All-Star Carlos Beltran on Aug. 1. (Mark LoMoglio/Tampa Yankees)

By Michael Avallone / MiLB.com | June 20, 2017 10:56 PM

The sore shoulder that delayed his start to the season notwithstanding, Dillon Tate was pleased with the way things have fallen into place at the start of his first full campaign with the Yankees.

Tate scattered three hits over 5 2/3 innings in Class A Advanced Tampa's 6-0 blanking of Florida on Tuesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees won their sixth straight.

Gameday box score

New York's No. 13 prospect allowed one walk while striking out five in his first start in the Florida State League. Tate had been rehabbing a right shoulder injury in extended spring training. He went 4-3 with a 4.34 ERA in 24 appearances -- including 16 starts -- between Class A Hickory and Charleston last season.

"It was a big sigh of relief to come through feeling good. I just need to continue to stay diligent with my shoulder exercises and my overall body conditioning," the California native said. "It was important for me to show myself and the team that I'm healthy."

Tate (1-0) allowed a single and a stolen base to Alay Lago in the opening frame, but rebounded to retire the next two batters in his first competitive action since Sept. 4. The right-hander struck out the side in the second, worked around a leadoff walk to Ray-Patrick Didder in the third and pitched through Lago's second single and stolen base in the fourth. 

Tate worked his second 1-2-3 inning in the fifth and yielded a one-out single to Alejandro Salazar in the sixth. He retired Braves No. 30 prospect Anfernee Seymour on a flyout to left, ending his evening after 67 pitches.

"It was good to get my feet wet and a good start to the season," Tate said. "I had a lot of help tonight with the pitch calling from [catcher Sharif Othman] and my defense, which made some really good plays behind me. They picked up the slack early which helped me get settled in and rolling. Our offense put pressure on the opposing pitcher [Ricardo Sanchez] and that gave me some extra comfort to go out there and perform."

The Yankees obtained Tate from the Rangers on Aug. 1 in exchange for All-Star Carlos Beltran. After starting 16 of 17 games for Hickory prior to the trade, the UC Santa Barbara product pitched exclusively in relief for Charleston. Tuesday marked his first start since July 28.

"For me, pitching is pitching. I like relieving and I like starting," the 2015 first-round pick said. "I'm happy going out there and competing, regardless of the role I'm performing. 

"It was frustrating to start the year hurt, but in the end, it happened the way it was supposed to. I wasn't ready coming out of Spring Training and I had a lot of things to work on. I was able to iron things out with my delivery and build up strength in my shoulder during extended. It was a blessing that the organization had a plan for me to come back and come back even stronger than before." MiLB include

James Reeves and Stephen Tarpley combined to allow two hits with four strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings to complete the Yankees' 10th shutout, tying them with the Cardinals for the most in the Florida State League. The staff's 2.82 ERA is also tops on the circuit.

New York's No. 18 prospect Nick Solak tripled, singled twice and scored two runs in his second straight multi-hit game.

Sanchez, the 19th-ranked Braves prospect, surrendered five runs on eight hits and a walk with six strikeouts in four innings.

Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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