BRADENTON, FL. – The Yankees tried to come back from an 8-to-4 deficit and wound up falling just short, dropping the contest 8-to-7.

Mike Ford and Ryan Lavarnway combined to drive in three runs in the top of the ninth, but Pirates righty Montana DuRapau was able to strike out Billy Burns to secure the victory.

Danny Farquhar made his spring debut, marking his first time on a mound in a real game since collapsing last April because of a brain aneurysm. He did only record one out before being lifted, allowing five runs (two after his departure) on three hits and two walks.

“I felt great out there. I was happy to be back on the mound,” Farquhar said, per Bryan Hoch. “Obviously the results weren’t great, but I’d call it a good day. It was nice to have that support. I’ve never been high-fived so much giving up five runs in my career.”

The Yankees scored their runs early, on a Miguel Andújar double, Thairo Estrada single + E3 and double by Estevan Florial.

Luis Cessa had a great start, throwing three scoreless frames and allowing one earned run on four hits. He recorded four strikeouts and did not walk a batter. Before the game, Aaron Boone said Cessa has a “real opportunity” to make the Opening Day roster as the long reliever. I could see him making the first start out of the No. 5 spot during CC Sabathia‘s suspension, then heading to the bullpen until he needs to be swapped out.

Lefty reliever Phillip Diehl, “who has quietly impressed opposing scouts,” was hit in the back with a line drive today. He was removed from the game immediately, despite his protest to Boone.

“He’s a tough kid. He’s fearless,” Boone said to Erik Boland. “I wasn’t surprised when I went out there and he’s like, ‘I’m fine,’ [with] a smile on his face. But he’s been one of those guys who’s really shined for us. He’s opened up some eyes.”

The Yankees play two games tomorrow, and both are on TV. The home squad will play Detroit, with Masahiro Tanaka making the start. The road squad heads to Dunedin to take on the Blue Jays with Domingo Germán on the hill.

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