Tanaka strikes out 15 as Yan­kees beat Blue Jays

Medicine Hat News - - SPORTS -

NEW YORK Masahiro Tanaka walked off the mound and tipped his cap to fans af­ter one of his most dom­i­nant per­for­mances since sign­ing with the New York Yan­kees in Jan­uary 2014.

He struck out 15 over seven in­nings , his high­est to­tal since com­ing to the ma­jor leagues, al­lowed three hits and walked none to lead the play­off-bound New York Yan­kees over the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 Fri­day and keep New York on the edge of con­tention in the AL East.

If only ev­ery start was like this.

“It's pretty ob­vi­ous that there was a lot of ups and downs this sea­son,” he said through a trans­la­tor. “I un­der­stand what I've done wrong and all that, but I'm not re­ally open to share that at this time.”

Tanaka (13-12) had five out­ings in which he gave up seven or eight runs but also had eight in which he al­lowed one run or none. He fin­ished with a 4.74 ERA and yielded 35 homers - 10 more than his pre­vi­ous ma­jor league high.

“I knew that I needed to be ag­gres­sive,” he said. “Maybe I was lack­ing it a lit­tle bit.”

Al­ready as­sured no worse than host­ing a wild-card game against Min­nesota, New York be­gan the day three games be­hind AL Eastlead­ing Bos­ton with three games left. The Yan­kees could take the di­vi­sion only by beat­ing the Blue Jays both Satur­day and Sun­day, hav­ing Bos­ton lose three in a row to Hous­ton and then de­feat­ing the Red Sox in a tiebreaker game Mon­day at Yan­kee Sta­dium.

New York ace Luis Sev­erino could start against Bos­ton or Min­nesota.

“He'll be pre­pared for ei­ther day,” Gi­rardi said.

Tanaka re­tired his first 14 bat­ters be­fore Eze­quiel Car­erra reached on an in­field sin­gle up the mid­dle just past Tanaka's glove.

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