Tanaka strong in re­turn, Yan­kees sweep Seat­tle with 3-1 win

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY TIM BOOTH

In an ef­fort not to over­stress his arm, the New York Yan­kees had in­tended to re­strict Masahiro Tanaka to six innings in his re­turn from the in­jury in Wed­nes­day’s game against Seat­tle.

How­ever Tanaka was so good and so ef­fi­cient with his pitch count, New York manager Joe Gi­rardi let him go seven, and even had to avoid the temp­ta­tion to send him back out for the eighth.

“His stuff was sharp to­day and his abil­ity to move the ball around and ex­pand the zone when he needed to,” Gi­rardi said. “It’s not an easy lineup. They’ve got some boys who can hit the ball out of the ball yard and he did a nice job.”

Tanaka gave up one run over seven innings in his re­turn from the dis­abled list, backed by home runs from Gar­rett Jones and Mark Teix­eira and the Yan­kees com­pleted a three-game sweep of Seat­tle with a 3-1 victory.

Mak­ing his first start in more than a month, Tanaka (3-1) was ef­fi­cient and over­pow­er­ing, with a bump in ve­loc­ity on his fast­ball that had not been seen yet this sea­son.

Op­er­at­ing on an 80-pitch limit in his re­turn, that was meant to limit Tanaka to six frames at most, but he got through seven innings with­out even reach­ing the 80-pitch mark, throw­ing just 78 pitches in hand­ing the Mariners their fifth straight loss.

Tanaka struck out a sea­son- high nine and had zero walks, go­ing to a three-ball count only twice.

“It is the best out­ing I’ve had this sea­son so far,” Tanaka said through an in­ter­preter.

Tanaka had not pitched in the ma­jors since April 23 when he went 6 1-3 innings against Detroit. He went on the dis­abled list five days later with wrist ten­dini­tis and a fore­arm strain.

“We all wait to see how he feels to­mor­row,” Gi­rardi said.

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