Tanaka dominates Rays with a complete game masterpiece

With the Yankees looking forward to some big returns and additions to their lineup this week, Masahiro Tanaka took the mound on Monday night and reminded everyone that the Yankees have some pretty good players at their disposal already. Aided by some early offense, Tanaka was never threatened and turned in the best outing by a Yankees’ starter this season. Although this game saw the Yankee debut of slugger Edwin Encarnacion, Tanaka was the story as he spun a gem and his complete game shutout helped the Yankees to a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Credit: Getty Images/Kyodo News

After the Yankees’ struggles the past few weeks, their grip on the division lead had loosened and the Rays had closed the gap to just a half a game. This series marks the beginning of an important stretch for the Yankees and they seemed to snap out of their funk on Monday against a tough division opponent.

The Yankees got on the board early in the game when DJ LeMahieu launched a two-run home run into loading dock next to Monument Park in the bottom of the third inning. They would extend the lead two innings later, when Cameron Maybin planted a solo shot in the left field seats. Maybin was 3-3 on the night and has now homered in three consecutive games. He has been absolutely sensational for this Yankee club throughout their struggles with injuries this season.  

With the lead in hand, it was up to Tanaka to make it stand up and he did just that. Tanaka held the Rays to just three base runners all night, yielding just two hits and a walk while striking out 10 batters. Tanaka has dominated this Rays team in the past and tonight was another reminder of just how good he can be on any given night. The Yankees would certainly like to see this Tanaka more often given the struggles of their rotation lately.

What’s Next?
The Yankees and Rays will face off again at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. This game will see the much anticipated return of Giancarlo Stanton to the lineup. First pitch is at 7:05pm and probable starters are Ryne Stanek and JA Happ.

Article by Matt Graziano


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