Don’t look now but the Yankees have won five games in a row. They are certainly off to a better start than they were at this time last April. Early on, it looked like it might be another rocky outing for Masahiro Tanaka, but he settled in after the first inning, and even retired ten batters in a row. Tanaka ran out of gas after his pitch count passed 100 in the seventh, but Tyler Clippard was able to pick him up. Things got a bit too interesting in the ninth inning after Aroldis Chapman gave up a two-out double, but nothing came of that.
The Cardinals got on the board first after Aledmys Diaz singled and Matt Carpenter followed with a two-run blast to right field. The Yankees immediately tied the game in the bottom half after Brett Gardner worked a walk and Starlin Castro hit a two-run bomb of his own. In the second inning, Austin Romine put the Yankees on top with a home run to right. He clearly read Matt Provenzano’s article earlier today and has decided to make the most of this opportunity.
The Yankees’ final run of the game came in the fifth after Jacoby Ellsbury hit a one-out single. Chase Headley doubled to right and an errant throw from Kolten Wong allowed Ellsbury to score. Headley advanced to third on the play, but Aaron Judge and Greg Bird both struck out, leaving Headley stranded. Judge ended the night with three strikeouts. Matt Holliday did not have much luck against his former team either, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts as well.
Tanaka entered the seventh inning with a 4-2 lead. With one out, Randal Grichuk smacked an RBI double to left, and Tanaka was lifted in favor of Clippard. Although he inherited a mess, Clippard did not allow the Cardinals to score. Dexter Fowler did hit a deep fly ball to Judge at the warning track that looked gone for a few scary seconds though. Dellin Betances notched three strikeouts in the eighth (and also walked Stephen Piscotty on four pitches). With two outs in the ninth inning, Aroldis Chapman walked Grichuk. Jose Martinez followed with a double to left, but Grichuk was held up at third base. Fowler grounded out to end the game and give Chapman his third save of the season.
Tomorrow the Yankees will go for their sixth win in a row. CC Sabathia will take the mound opposite of Carlos Martinez at 1:05 EST.