New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Masahiro Tanaka overcame a rocky start to stay unbeaten as the New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-3, in the second game of a three-game series at Yankees Stadium.
Tanaka (4-0) allowed three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts to help the Yankees (16-13) snap a three-game losing streak.
Tanaka is now undefeated in six big league starts, and he hasn’t lost since Aug. 19 of his 2012 campaign.
The right-hander won his final 28 decisions in Japan before signing with the Yankees this winter, and he’s yet to allow more than three earned runs against a Major League club.
Mark Teixeira had three RBIs, Brett Gardner knocked in two runs while Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits for the Yankees, who lost the opening game of the series in 14 innings.
Josh Lueke (0-2) suffered the loss after giving up three runs on four hits in two innings of relief as the Rays dropped to 14-17.
Tanaka’s streak appeared to be in jeopardy when allowed a line-drive home run to Desmond Jennings in the first inning. Tampa Bay scored once in the second inning and again in the fourth, with Wil Myers taking Tanaka deep.
Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi threw three perfect innings to open his start and held a three-run lead going into the bottom of the fourth, but everything fell apart for the youngster in a span of 10 batters.
Seven of those batters — four in the fourth inning and three in the fifth — reached base. Teixeira pulled the Yankees within one run on a two-run homer in the fourth while Ellsbury hit a game-tying ground-rule double in the fifth.
The Yankees took their their first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth, courtesy of a solo homer by Kelly Johnson.
Then, the Yankees’ bullpen worked two scoreless innings to seal the victory.