Tanaka, Be­tances, Yan­kees dou­ble up on Blue Jays, 6-3

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - PETE CALDERA

NEW YORK — Dellin Be­tances had the pulse of Yan­kees Uni­verse in mind, talk­ing about his se­lec­tion to the all-star game.

“Thank God the play­ers voted last week,” Be­tances said of the process that put him on Ma­jor League Base­ball’s Amer­i­can League team for a fourth straight year, de­spite his re­cent strug­gles as the Yan­kees’ setup man. “I had a tough cou­ple of games.”

Un­de­terred, man­ager Joe Gi­rardi put Be­tances right back into a high­lever­age sit­u­a­tion on Mon­day night, and the right-han­der — with a lit­tle help by catcher Gary Sanchez — came through at Yan­kee Sta­dium.

Be­tances held a one-run lead in the eighth, and the Yan­kees broke it open in the bot­tom half for a 6-3 vic­tory against the strug­gling Blue Jays.

Af­ter fel­low all-stars Aaron Judge (sin­gle) and Sanchez (dou­ble) and po­ten­tial all-star Didi Gre­go­rius (walk) loaded the bases to start the ninth, Chase Headley dou­bled in two runs to open a four-run frame. Aroldis Chap­man handed back two runs in the ninth.

Be­fore the game, Yan­kees gen­eral man­ager Brian Cash­man of­fered an en­dorse­ment of Headley, say­ing that he’s his third base­man.

Tanaka (7-7) pitched seven strong in­nings, charged with one run on five hits and a walk. He struck out eight Blue Jays and won his sec­ond straight start, af­ter hav­ing gone win­less from May 14 to June 23.

Blue Jays starter Mar­cus Stro­man (8-5) stead­ied af­ter a shaky first in­ning, giv­ing up two runs — scor­ing on Headley’s bases-loaded hit by pitch and a walk to Ja­coby Ells­bury.

But the Yanks couldn’t get any­thing else go­ing against Stro­man, who lasted five in­nings and ap­peared to be deal­ing with a blis­ter prob­lem on his pitch­ing hand.

Be­tances’s is­sues have been with com­mand, mostly with the curve­ball. In­her­it­ing a 2-1 lead, Be­tances en­tered the eighth by strik­ing out Jose Bautista. But he walked Josh Don­ald­son on a close 3-and-2 curve­ball that buck­led the for­mer MVP’s knees; plate um­pire Jerry Meals saw it as just high.

But Be­tances re­bounded to strike out fan all-star starter Justin Smoak with Don­ald­son run­ning and Sanchez threw a one-hop strike to sec­ond, where Headley — on the shift-put down a ter­rific, quick tag. Be­tances roared and pounded his glove, rare for him, as he ex­ited the mound and en­tered into a con­ver­sa­tion with Meals.

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