On a day when he faced many deep counts, Tanaka helped the
Yankees snap a four-game losing streak and stay above .500 by
pitching six gritty innings in a 2-1 victory over the Oakland
Tanaka allowed a one-out home run to catcher John Jaso in the first
inning among five hits. He could have allowed more as he had 12
at-bats that lasted at least five pitches with Oakland hitters
fouling off 32 pitches.
"As far as my personal performance goes, I don't think it was my
best performance of the season," Tanaka said through an interpreter.
"Given the fact the team and the slump it was on and facing one of
the best teams in the league right now, I'm really happy that I was
able to conquer the opposing team."
The Athletics only had two hits in those long at-bats and Tanaka
held them to one hit with seven at-bats with a runner on.
"They're tough outs and they make him work," New York manager Joe
Girardi said. "I think you could say it's his biggest performance
Tanaka logged a quality start for the 12th straight time and is the
first pitcher to begin a career that way since Montreal's Steve
Rogers opened 1973 with 16 straight quality starts.
Tanaka's biggest challenges were in the fourth and fifth when he
threw 52 of his 104 pitches.
"Today was the first chance we got to face Tanaka," Oakland third
baseman Josh Donaldson said. "You put it in the memory bank and
hopefully we'll get to face him whenever they come to Oakland."
Tanaka allowed consecutive two-out singles to left fielder Brandon
Moss and designated hitter Yoenis Cespedes but won a nine-pitch
at-bat with shortstop Jed Lowrie by fanning him on a 2-2 slider.
"He found a way to get out of those innings," Girardi said. "They
put some really long, tough at-bats (on him). He never let up and he
kept going at them, going at them and they fouling pitches off and
he ended up getting the big outs he needed to get."
An inning later, Tanaka had two on with two outs after allowing a
single to right fielder Stephen Vogt and walking center fielder Coco
Crisp. He ended the fifth by needing two splitters to retire Jaso on
a popup to shortstop Derek Jeter.
In the sixth, Tanaka stranded Moss at first by getting Cespedes to
foul out to first baseman Mark Teixeira on a slider and Lowrie to
ground out on a first-pitch slider.
"It was a tough game for me," Tanaka said. "I think the A's were
really resilient. They didn't give in."
Tanaka's performance was not the only challenge for the Yankees, who
had lost the previous four games by giving up 20 runs after the
sixth inning. After reliever Dellin Betances pitched a perfect
seventh, Adam Warren and David Robertson survived tough innings.
[to top of second column]
Warren opened the eighth by allowing consecutive singles to Crisp
and Jaso but struck out Donaldson and Cespedes around a wild pitch.
Robertson allowed a one-out single, a stolen base by pinch-runner
Craig Gentry and had a ball deflect off his foot for the second out,
but he secured his 13th save in 15 opportunities by getting
pinch-hitter Derek Norris on a close strike three.
Norris briefly questioned the call by plate umpire Tom Hallion,
which replays showed might have been outside.
"I got lucky and executed the last pitch," Robertson said. "I
thought it was good. If the umpire thought it was good, that's all
"He had a different spot than I did," Norris said.
The Yankees executed just enough offensively and won for the fifth
time in their last 17 home games.
They tied it on an RBI single by right fielder Alfonso Soriano in
the second that snapped his 0-for-16 slump and went ahead on left
fielder Brett Gardner's solo home run leading off the third.
Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (5-3) allowed two runs (one earned) and
six hits in seven innings for Oakland, which had a five-game winning
streak stopped and lost for the third time in its last 10 games.
NOTES: Before the game, the Yankees held an on-field ceremony
honoring seven veterans of the D-Day invasion, which took place 70
years ago Friday. ... The Yankees also had a moment of silence for
former bench coach Don Zimmer, who died Wednesday night. ... Oakland
LHP Eric O'Flaherty will continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery
by pitching an inning for Class A Stockton on Friday. ... New York
CF Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 10 games in the
first inning with a double that was ruled a home run but overturned
after a 79-second review.
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