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Yankees 1, Orioles 2: Late home run spoils Tanaka's brilliant outing

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Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

This game should have gone differently for the Yankees. Masahiro Tanaka gave the Yankees everything they needed with an overworked bullpen that barely had anyone available, but the offense was just never able to fully pick him up. It's a frustrating loss against a bad team that has happened all too often this year for the Yankees who just can't seem to gain ground when they need to.

Chris Davis was the first hitter to reach base against Tanaka in the fifth via a walk to end the perfect game bid. The no-hitter bid would end shortly thereafter when Didi Gregorius ranged too far to his left to field a ball that was ticketed straight for Stephen Drew's glove. The ball trickled under Gregorius' glove and it was questionably ruled a hit by the official scorer. Tanaka hung in the game for eight innings, allowing only one run in the form of a solo homer to Ryan Flaherty in the sixth inning. He struck out ten and gave up only six hits in what was one of his better starts of the year.

Alex Rodriguez didn't allow the Yankees to fall behind for long, smacking his 30th home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 1-1. It was a small slice of offense in an otherwise very quiet night. Rodriguez led the way with two hits and the only RBI. The first three hitters in the lineup (Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann) also each had a hit, but only Brendan Ryan was able to pick up a hit from the bottom of the lineup. It was a particularly rough night for Greg Bird who struck out three times against his former high school teammate.

Tanaka was replaced by one of the only available relievers in Chasen Shreve for the top of the ninth inning. Shreve allowed a home run to the first batter he faced, Chris Davis, to put the Yankees back in a hole. The offense failed to even threaten anything in the ninth and that was basically that.

The good news is that Tanaka looked as strong as he has in 2015 tonight, even though it was against a team that is battling to stay out of the AL East basement. Another bright spot is that the bullpen was able to rest tonight, thanks to Tanaka, and should be available for tomorrow's series finale. Hopefully they won't need to work too hard with Toronto coming into town for a four-game weekend series, but Joe Girardi won't have to be as creative in needing CC Sabathia to try and pitch a complete game.

As of this moment the Blue Jays just took a 2-1 lead against the Red Sox at Fenway in extra innings. Winning tonight would have given the Yankees a chance to take a lead in the division, should the results change up north, but Toronto will put the Yankees back to a game and a half out with an impending victory. It just makes the four games coming up this weekend seem as important as any non-elimination game can be.