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Yankees 4, Blue Jays 2: Masahiro Tanaka dazzles in season debut

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Give it up for the bottom half of the lineup.

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Injuries aside, the Yankees couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. Luis Severino kicked things off with a great performance yesterday, and Masahiro Tanaka followed with an excellent outing today. The big bats were quiet tonight, but the bottom half of the lineup picked them up and propelled the Yankees to their second win. This team might never lose.

The offense was able to get to Aaron Sanchez tonight, though they blew a chance for more runs in the second inning. Didi Gregorius started the inning off with a leadoff triple. Gary Sanchez followed with a grounder to third base. For some reason, Gregorius decided to run home and he ended up being out by a mile. With two outs, Billy McKinney picked up his first career hit, and Brandon Drury put the Yankees on the board with a double to right field.

Back at it in the fourth inning, Gregorius hit another leadoff extra-base hit, this time a double. Once again, Drury knocked in the run to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. The offense put the game out of reach in the sixth inning after Aaron Sanchez started laboring. Gregorius worked a leadoff walk, Neil Walker singled, and Drury walked to load the bases. The Blue Jays opted to let Sanchez face Tyler Wade, and Wade knocked in the Yankees’ final two runs with a double up the middle.

As for the pitching side of things, Tanaka was great. He gave up three hits during the first two innings of the game, including two doubles and a solo shot to Randal Grichuk. After that third hit, Tanaka settled down and retired the next 13 batters that he faced. He even struck out the side in the bottom of the third. Tanaka ended his night with eight strikeouts through six innings of work.

Tommy Kahnle tossed a scoreless inning, then issued a leadoff walk to Russell Martin in the eighth. He got Kevin Pillar to fly out, and the Yankees turned to David Robertson for the final two outs of the inning. Aroldis Chapman entered the game in the bottom of the ninth and made quick work of Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak with a pair of strikeouts. However, the third out eluded him. Steve Pearce doubled to left to keep the Blue Jays alive, and Yangervis Solarte followed with an RBI double. Chapman finally struck out Grichuk to end the game, but not before making us sweat a bit.

The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound tomorrow to secure the series victory opposite of Marco Estrada. First pitch is scheduled for 4:07 ET and you can follow the action on YES.

Box score.