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Masahiro Tanaka dazzles, leads Yankees to 1-0 victory over Blue Jays

Masahiro Tanaka was extremely dominant in his eight-plus inning performance.

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

After losing their last two games, the New York Yankees called upon Masahiro Tanaka to propel the team to a win and series spilt. With four games in the next three days, Tanaka needed to go relatively deep in the game to preserve the bullpen. He came through for New York and was truly magnificent. Both he and Blue Jays’ pitcher Trent Thornton went toe-to-toe by trading zero’s into the middle innings.

After Gio Urshela made a spectacular diving catch to end the fourth, he led off the fifth inning with a double, which was also the Yankees’ first hit. That was his 18th extra-base hit in his last 17 games. Brett Gardner stepped in next and laced a ground-rule double to drive Urshela home. Gardner now has a seven-game hitting streak, batting .417 with five doubles over that span.

Urshela and the Yankees threatened again as they loaded the bases in the sixth with one out. Gio lined a rocket to first, but the Jays were able to turn a 3-2-3 double play to escape the jam.

Tanaka was absolutely brilliant. He hurled eight-plus innings, allowed just three hits, no runs, no walks, and four strikeouts. His slider looked especially dominant, as he got eight swings-and-misses and Toronto went 0-11 on the pitch. He gave up a single to the first batter he faced, but didn’t give up another until the eighth.

Aroldis Chapman entered the ninth after Tanaka started it by giving up a leadoff single. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was the first batter Chapman faced, and an amazing battle ensued. Bottom of the ninth, one on, one out, in a one-run game—power versus power. After 13 pitches and seven foul balls, Vladito bounced into double play.

Bo Bichette came up next and ripped a single into left, but Chapman struck out Cavan Biggio and the Yankees won 1-0. This was the Yankees’ 17th time scoring two runs or fewer in 2019, but just their first victory when doing so.

The Bombers will head back to the Bronx to face the Baltimore Orioles in another four-game set. It will be a double-header on Monday to get things started.