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Masahiro Tanaka tosses complete game gem in Yankees win

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.

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.


The Yankees now sit at 13-7 and are only one game behind the division leading Baltimore Orioles. With the loss, the Red Sox dropped to 11-10 and are now four games behind the O’s.

New York will face the division leaders on Friday night, as CC Sabathia will take on Kevin Gausman from the Bronx.

Win- Masahiro Tanaka
Loss- Chris Sale

Notes:

  • The Yankees’ pitching staff has looked stellar through the first 20 games of the season, evidenced by their MLB leading 2.90 ERA.
  • Didi Gregorius is slated to return tomorrow night against the Orioles. Pete Kozma will likely be sent down to make room on the 25-man roster.
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