Tanaka dazzles, Yankee bats stay hot as they defeat Rays 6-1

After a dramatic win last night against the Rays, the Yankees continue to roll and surge for first place in the American League East. Friday night in the Bronx, Masahiro Tanaka (7-9, 5.37 ERA) took the hill looking for some consistency in what has been an up and down season for the former ace. Tanaka was very sharp all night long, striking out five out of the first six batters he faced. The Rays had no answer for Tanaka all night, as he struck out a career-high fourteen batters, in a 6-1 victory.

AP Photo/ Julie Jacobson

When you hear the name Brett Gardner, you think of tough, gritty, and streaky. Now while all those traits are true, Gardner is having one of the best seasons of his career. Coming off a game winning home run last night, Gardner led off the game with a homerun to right field putting the Yankees up 1-0 in the first inning.
With the new additions in the bullpen, if Tanaka can somehow turn around this season, the Bombers can be very dangerous as the season progresses. After being given an early lead, Tanaka was brilliant. All of Tanaka’s pitches were working all night long and he retired the first twelve batters in order, to start the game. During the bottom of the fourth inning, Aaron Judge and his new tooth, gave Tanaka some more insurance with a laser of a homerun to left center field, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead after four innings of play. Judge, has a seventeen-game hit streak at Yankee Stadium which is the longest ever by a Yankee rookie.

AP Photo/ Julie Jacobson

For Tampa Bay, Austin Pruitt (5-1, 6.25 ERA) did not pitch a bad game by any stretch, but when the opposing pitcher is rolling like Tanaka was it just does not matter. Pruitt worked ahead all night long, but had three critical mistakes that ultimately cost himself, and the Rays the game. During the fifth inning, Todd Frazier worked a walk, and Gardner worked a second walk putting two runners on with two out for Clint Frazier. Red Thunder homered on a fly ball to left center field giving the Bombers a commanding 5-0 lead after five innings played. Frazier’s homer traveled 455 feet, and he continues to show that he indeed belongs in the lineup.
While it took five and two thirds innings, Tanaka did give up his first base hit during the sixth inning on a single by Adeiny Hechavarria to left field. Tanaka did work eight innings, only allowing one run on a homer to right field by the newest Tampa Bay Ray, Lucas Duda during the seventh. Tanaka finished the night with a career-high fourteen strikeouts, and a 5-1 lead after eight. The Bombers would add to their lead during the bottom of the eighth inning, Gardner was hit by a pitch, and Gary Sanchez received an intentional walk placing two men on with two out. Didi Gregorius extended his hit streak to ten games, as he hit a single to left field making the Yankee lead 6-1.

AP Photo/ Julie Jacobson

David Robertson came on to close out the game retiring the side in order, and securing the Bombers 6-1 victory, making it five wins in a row.

Tomorrow afternoon 1:05 PM ET the Bombers play game three in this four-game set as Caleb Smith (0-1, 8.10 ERA) is slated to get the start as he looks to give the Yankees their third straight series victory. For the Rays, Blake Snell (0-6, 4.86 ERA) gets the ball, looking for his first win on the season in Yankee Stadium.

Winning Pitcher: Masahiro Tanaka (8-9, 5.09ERA) 8.0 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 14 SO
Losing Pitcher: Austin Pruitt (5-2, 6.63 ERA) 5.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO

Brett Gardner: 1-2, 2 R, H, RBI (47), HR (19), BB, HPB
Aaron Judge: 1-4, R, H, RBI (74), HR (33)
Gary Sanchez: 1-3, BB
Didi Gregorius: 1-4, RBI (49)
Clint Frazier: 1-3, R, 3 RBI (16), HR (4)

Article by: Randy Hancock


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