The Cardinals jumped out to an early lead, but the Bronx Bombers used the long ball to ultimately come away with a 4-3 victory.
Things didn’t look good early on for Masahiro Tanaka. Matt Carpenter took him deep in the first inning to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead, but Starlin Castro answered with a homer of his own in the bottom half of the inning to knot the game up at 2-2 .
Austin Romine provided the Yankees with another home run in the second inning to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Cardinals starter Michael Wacha wasn’t sharp by any means, but managed to only allow four runs on 10 hits in six innings pitched.
The Yankees added their fourth run in the fifth inning when Chase Headley doubled with Jacoby Ellsbury on first. Ellsbury initially stopped at third, but was able to score on Kolten Wong‘s wild relay throw to home.
Tanaka pitched well after his rough first inning and seemed to get better as the game went on. The Yankees’ ace finished the night with five strikeouts, two walks and allowed three total runs in 6.1 innings. Tanaka found himself in a jam halfway through the seventh inning, but Tyler Clippard shut down both Wong and Dexter Fowler to end the frame.
Greg Bird‘s struggles continued on Friday night as he failed to record a hit. Bird still only has one hit on the season and has been the Yankees’ least productive bat, by far, this season.
Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman combined for four strikeouts over the final two innings to preserve the victory. Chapman made things interesting in the ninth, however, when he put runners on second and third. He was able to induce a weak groundball from Fowler to Castro, who fired over to Bird in time to end the game.
The Yankees improved their win streak to five and now sit at 6-4 on the season. The Bronx Bombers trail only the Baltimore Orioles in the division, who have a record of 7-2.