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Brilliant Tanaka leads Yankees to series opening win in Seattle

SEATTLE — As it looks more and more like the Yankees will be playing in the AL Wild Card game, manager Aaron Boone is looking for someone to step-up and earn the right to start in that one-game playoff.

Tonight, Masahiro Tanaka made one of the strongest cases yet, as he was phenomenal in eight scoreless innings versus the Mariners. Giving up just three hits, the right-hander kept Seattle’s hitters guessing all night and made the most of a pair Yankee two-run homers.

In James Paxton, New York was facing a lefty that has been one of the most impressive in so far in the AL. While it was just his second start of the DL, Paxton was decent, albeit two mistakes that cost him four runs.

The first was a second inning blast by Gleyber Torres, his 100th hit, that scored Luke Voit and gave New York a 2-0 lead.

The very next frame, with Brett Gardner aboard, Andrew McCutchen crushed his first Yankee homer to deep in left field to double the Bombers’ lead.

With the four runs, New York had given more than enough support for the brilliant Tanaka.

Though his pitch count was just at 103 after eight innings, Boone chose to be careful and send out David Robertson to finish out the game and seal New York’s 88th win of the season.

With just 21 games left in the season, the Yankees will need a miracle to catch Boston, who remains 8.5 games up for the AL East title.

Lance Lynn faces Felix Hernandez in tomorrow’s matchup.

Current Yankees Record: 88-53