Robinson Canó, Trevor Bauer lead Diablos Rojos past Yankees

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

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

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

"All I want is to win. I'm not concerned about personal statistics," Canó said. "It felt good to hit the homer because of the fans, they gave you an extra energy. As a player I like to play in big moments and to 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 little bit off. I would have liked not to walk two people," Bauer said. "It was my first time pitching at this altitude, so the ball is moving a little bit differently. But it was a good day. The fans were incredible."

Said Yankees manager Aaron Boone: "I thought his stuff looked good to me. Obviously, he's got great stuff. I thought we were putting up pretty good at-bats 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 assault and child abuse policy after a San Diego woman said he beat and sexually abused her, an accusation the pitcher denied.

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

"It was definitively part of the decision (to come to Mexico)," Bauer said. "I thought it'd be fun to pitch against the Yankees and make some content to entertain the fans. I want to play baseball. I have fun doing it and there's a lot of 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.

Conner 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 the majority 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 Narváez had a two-run double 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 regular players in their lineup.

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

"It's important for Mexico City," Stanton said. "It's fun for baseball. It's a great meshing, the two leagues together and countries."

Yankees outfielder Alex Verdugo, who played for Mexico at the World Baseball Classic, did not make the trip because of 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 into the hospital," Boone said. "I know he is upset that he could not be here, but he needed to be there in case the baby comes."

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.