TORONTO — While it was the middle of the Yankee order that carried the load in yesterday’s win, it was the bottom of the lineup that produced the only runs in today’s game. With Masahiro Tanaka looking like he’s in postseason form, it was enough for New York to take its second in a row, 4-2, against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.
The Japanese starter hurled six innings, giving up just three hits, while striking out eight. Randal Grichuk’s home run in the second inning was the only dent on Tanaka’s tally.
The Yankees’ first real chance came in the second inning when Didi Gregorius hit a triple off of Aaron Sanchez to lead off the frame. He, however, was thrown out at the plate on a Sanchez grounder to Yangervis Solarte. With two outs in the frame, Billy McKinney would extend the inning with his first Major League hit. Drury would subsequently drive in Sanchez for the game’s first run.
In the bottom half of the frame, Kevin Pillar would follow Grichuk’s home run with a double. Tanaka, though, would not allow another baserunner as he would retire the final 13 batters he faced.
Later on, Drury would give New York the lead back with an RBI single in the fourth inning. Two innings later, New York was able to load the bases against Sanchez, with Wade at the plate. Not wanting to disappoint in his first start of the season, the second baseman sent a line drive to right-center to bring home two more Yankee runs with a double.
With this just being his first start of the season, Tanaka was limited to just six innings despite his success in the game. Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson would pitched the seventh and the eighth before giving the save opportunity to Aroldis Chapman.
While the closer would strike out Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak to open the frame, consecutive doubles by pinch hitter Steve Pearce and Solarte would cut the New York lead to 4-2, and provide anxious moments for manager Aaron Boone. Chapman, however, would bounce back and strikeout the tying run at the plate, Grichuk, and earn his first save of the season.