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Yankees Highlights: Offense fails to back up Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka had a serviceable start, but the Yankees’ offense demands near-perfection from their pitchers right now.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, yet another listless showing by the Yankees against the Orioles. Bright spots are few and far between now, as the Yankees dropped their third in a row against Baltimore to lose the series and see their lead in the standings on the O’s narrow to two games. Given the gap in quality between the two teams’ rosters, it’s still too early to say the Yankees are in true danger of slipping out of the playoff seeds. A few more games like this, however, will surely start to get some fans panicking.

Winner of the Game

Slim pickings here. Masahiro Tanaka pitched better than his line would indicate, dialing in after a two-run, first-inning home run by DJ Stewart. He departed with two on and one out in the sixth having shut down Baltimore after the initial blunder, but Luis Cessa came on and promptly allowed both inherited runners to score. Tanaka’s final line of 5.1 innings, four runs (two earned), five strikeouts and one walk is uneven, but he consistently had the Orioles off balance with his slider and splitter. On the basis that he mostly performed well, he’s about the closest thing we have to a winner today.

Miguel Andujar notched a pair of singles and a triple, bringing his batting average above .200 for the year. That’s easily the best showing we saw from a Yankee batter today.

Loser of the Game

Anyone that had to watch another putrid day of hitting from the Bombers. Andujar had those three hits, and the rest of the lineup could only muster one knock, a bloop single by Aaron Hicks. The top five hitters in the Yankee lineup combined to go 0-18. The Yankees have been ravaged by injuries, but there is still too much talent on this team for it to put up five runs over the course of three games against the Baltimore hurlers. Starter Dean Kremer looked solid in his first major-league start, but the Yankees just have to do better against a staff that projects to be the fifth-worst in baseball the rest of the way per FanGraphs.