Greg Bird homer propels Yankees to 1-0 win behind brilliant start from Masahiro Tanaka

The Yankees came into game three of the ALDS off a devastating game two loss that featured blowing an 8-3 lead and losing in 13 innings. Down 2-0 in the series as it shifted to the Bronx, Masahiro Tanaka got the ball in his biggest start of his career. Tanaka owned up to the challenge tossing seven brilliant shutout innings with seven strikeouts. The Yankees were boosted by a home run robbery by Aaron Judge to take a two-run homer away from Francisco Lindor in a scoreless game in the sixth inning. From there, Greg Bird launched a solo homer off Andrew Miller to propel the Yankees to a 1-0 victory.
 
Photo Credit: Anthony Grupposo | AP



Tanaka came out firing early on Sunday night pitching a perfect first inning on two strikeouts. His opposition, Carlos Carrasco matched him in that inning also picking up two K’s, and he was stellar all night. In fact, it looked like it could be a disappointing night in the Bronx as the lineup was unable to pick up their first hit into Didi Gregorius singled with two outs in the fourth inning.


Momentum shifted to the Yankees side in the sixth inning, when Judge scaled the wall and took away what would have been a game-changing two-run home run from Lindor. The Yankees used that momentum to post their first threat of the game in the bottom half of the inning.
Photo Credit: John Munson

In that inning, the Yankees loaded the bases thanks to a walk to Judge, a single by Gary Sanchez, and a walk to Gregorius. With two away, Terry Francona went to the reliable left-handed stud Andrew Miller, who got Starlin Castro to pop out in the infield to the end the inning.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Yankees got their breakthrough when Bird led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a no-doubter home run down the right field line into the second deck. Joe Girardi then handed the ball to David Robertson for the eighth inning. But after a walk to Michael Brantley, Girardi went to the lights-out Aroldis Chapman to face lefty Lonnie Chisenhall and pick up a five-out save.

Francona countered that move by pinch hitting Yan Gomes, but Chapman got him and Giovanny Urshela to strikeout to end the inning. Chapman came back for the ninth to face the top of the order, and he made quick work on Lindor setting him down on strikes. He then got into a bit of trouble allowing two straight singles to Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez to put runners on first and second with one away.
Photo Credit: Kevin R. Wexler

Chapman was able to wiggle out of it getting the red-hot Jay Bruce to strike out, and then he got Carlos Santana to fly out to center field on a ball that looked good off the bat. It was a much needed win, moving the Yankees to 2-0 in elimination games this postseason. The Yankees will hope for a good start from Luis Severino tomorrow in game four at 7:00 PM ET in the Bronx, and then they will look to force a game five Wednesday night.

Winning Pitcher: Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 0.00 ERA): 7.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K
Losing Pitcher: Andrew Miller (0-1, 3.00 ERA): 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR
Save: Aroldis Chapman (1)

Notables:
Greg Bird: 1-2, HR (2), RBI, R, K
Brett Gardner: 1-4, 2B
Aaron Judge: 0-3, 3 K (0-10, 8 K this series)
Aroldis Chapman: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Carlos Carrasco: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K
Jason Kipnis: 2-4, 3B
Jay Bruce: 0-4, 4 K

Article by: Chad Raines

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