Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Masahiro Tanaka limited the Toronto Blue Jays to just one run on five hits over six innings, running into a high pitch count before handing the ball off to his bullpen, and thanks to a two-run homerun off of Brett Gardner's bat, the Yankees defeated the Jays, 3-1, for a 14th straight time at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night, and a milestone win for Joe Girardi.

The Blue Jays become one of the few teams that Tanaka has faced twice this season, joining the Chicago Cubs as the other team. He matched up against them for his first major league start back on April 4, picking his the win with a solid start that afternoon.

Tuesday night's game started off the same way for Tanaka and the Yankees as that April 4 contest when Jose Reyes took Tanaka deep into the right field seats on the field pitch of the game. Melky Cabrera also welcomed Tanaka to the big leagues with a lead-off homerun on April 4.

But Tanaka was not phased by the homerun, and didn't let another Blue Jay score for the rest of the game, giving up just another four hits after that -- two of them in the 1st inning.

Gardner put the Yankees up 2-1 in the bottom of the 3rd inning with a two-run dinger off of Marcus Stroman. After Kelly Johnson, who finished 2-for-3 while starting at third base over a slumping Yangervis Solarte, doubled, Gardner lined a ball off of the right field foul pole, his 6th long ball of the season.

The Yankees worked Stroman out of the game early after just 3.2 innings when he reached the 98 pitch mark. He was only tagged with the two runs on four hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.

Mark Teixeira doubled the Yankees lead in the 5th inning with an RBI single up the middle of the diamond against Aaron Loup, driving in Derek Jeter, who opened the inning with an infield-single, moved to second on a wild pitch, then moved to third on a Jacoby Ellsbury groundout.

As I said, the Reyes homerun did very to deter Tanaka, who, for the second straight outing, struck out 10 batters, dominating the Jay's lineup with his filthy splitter. He only -- only -- walked two, but still threw a lot of pitches  -- 104, to be exact -- in six innings.

Dellin Betances took over to begin the 7th and, efficiently, worked two perfect inning, striking out three without putting a runner on base. Just another solid outing for a great young pitch. He paved the way for David Robertson, who picked up his 17th save of the season after working around a two-out triple by Munenori Kawasaki.

For Girardi, this was his 600th win as manager of the Yankees since taking over as the skipper in 2008. He joins Joe McCarthy (1,460), Joe Torre (1,173), Casey Stengel (1,149), Miller Huggins (1,067), and Ralph Houk (944) as just the 6th manager in franchise history to achieve that feat.

The Yankees and Blue Jays will continue this series on Wednesday night with Chase Whitley and Mark Buehrle on the mound for the respective teams at 7:05 pm ET.


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