BRONX, N.Y. – The Oakland Athletics were in town on Friday night for their first meeting against the New York Yankees this season. Masahiro Tanaka silenced the criticism he has been taking over his past few starts and dazzled with 13 strikeouts, a career high, but the Yankees fell 4-1.
Despite Tanka pitching deep into the game, the Yankees’ offense was held in check by A’s starter, Sean Manaea. Manaea pitched seven innings, allowed only four hits and struck out seven while not allowing a single run to cross the plate. In the Yankees’ last eight games, the most runs they have scored are five and they are 3-5 during that stretch. In addition, they have only scored three runs or less in four out of their last five games.
The game was scoreless all the way up until the eight inning when Jed Lowrie hit a single to shallow right off of Tanaka to bring home Rajai Davis. Tanaka went 7.1 innings, allowed five hits, and only one earned run in his losing effort. The Yankees’ ace managed to lower his earned run average almost an entire point – 6.56 to 5.86.
After a 13-strikeout, no-walk performance, Masahiro Tanaka looks to have righted the ship on the mound. pic.twitter.com/4JoUKVHFse
The Yankees’ bullpen struggled to keep the game close for their team when Tyler Clippard and Jonathan Holder combined to allow three runs score in 1.2 innings of action. Holder has allowed two earned runs in his last two appearances.
The ferocious Yankees’ offense was not about to go down without a fight. After trailing 4-0 going into the ninth inning, they managed to load the bases, sending Didi Gregorious to the plate. Gregorious hit a sacrifice fly off of Santiago Casilla, followed by a pinch-hit pop out to end the game from Gary Sanchez.
With the loss, the Yankees moved to 27-18 on the season and have a red-hot Red Sox team only two games behind their division lead. The Red Sox have won five games in a row and moved ahead of the Orioles with their victory over the Mariners on Friday night.
.@CC_Sabathia has won two straight starts, allowing a total of 2R/1ER in 11.2IP (in his previous four starts, allowed 22ER in 20.2IP).