Tanaka Time! Yanks Beat Jays, 3-1

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares NEW YORK — Masahiro Tanaka gave up a home run on the first pitch of the game, then earned his major league-high 11th victory of the season as the New York Yankees beat Toronto 3-1 on June 17.That was the first time Tanaka could remember getting tagged so quickly and said it “threw me off my rhythm a little bit.”“Overall, my stuff wasn’t really there,” he said through a translator.Even so, Tanaka (11-1) struck out 10 in six innings and left with an American League-best 1.99 ERA. He has made 14 starts this season — he’s gone at least six innings in every outing and never permitted more than three earned runs.“What he’s done is remarkable,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. “He wins.”Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer off the right-field foul pole as the Yankees won at home against the Blue Jays for the 14th straight time.Tanaka made his big league debut April 4 at Toronto, when Melky Cabrera hit a leadoff home run on the third pitch.Jose Reyes provided an even faster start this time with a drive into the lower deck in right. “I made up my mind before the game that I was going to swing at the first pitch,” he said. “You don’t want to face Tanaka with two strikes.”Said Girardi: “He just threw a pitch right down the middle and up. Reyes knew what to do.”“Reyes is familiar with this ballpark,” he said. “He went to the short part of the park.”Cabrera followed with a liner between Tanaka’s legs that knocked off the pitcher’s glove. But Tanaka scrambled to retrieve the ball behind the mound and threw out Cabrera, and never again allowed a runner past second.Tanaka moved ahead of Toronto’s Mark Buehrle for the most wins in the majors. Buehrle starts June 18 at Yankee Stadium in the middle game of the three-game series.(BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer)last_img