BOSTON – It was a pitchers duel in Boston on Thursday night and it’s safe to say that Masahiro Tanaka is back. Tanaka out-pitched Chris Sale in what turned out to be a 3-0 Yankees victory.
Tanaka was efficient and effective all night; he needed only 97 pitches to throw a complete game, three hit shutout of the Red Sox. The Yankees’ ace induced a plethora of ground balls — 15 ground outs total — and kept Red Sox hitters off-balance with his off-speed pitches. Tanaka recorded only three strikeouts but didn’t issue a single walk.
Ballgame. Masahiro Tanaka throws a complete game shutout. No walks, three hits, Yankees win 3-0 at Fenway. pic.twitter.com/KKcLyYa2Pg
Sale was nearly as effective as Tanaka. Sale racked up 10 strikeouts in eight innings of work but allowed eight hits and two earned runs. Aaron Hicks, Matt Holliday and Ronald Torreyes each had two hits off of Sale and played a huge role in the Yankees’ victory.
Holliday started off the scoring for the Yankees by hitting a sacrifice fly to left field in the fourth inning that plated home Aaron Hicks. Then, the Yankees padded their lead in the ninth inning when Holliday and Starlin Castro each singled in runs. Sale’s pitch count climbed to 109 pitches in the ninth inning and fatigue played a role in the lefty giving up another two runs (one unearned).
Hanley Ramirez was the only Sox batter to have any success against Tanaka. He hit two singles off of the Japanese starter.