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Yankees 4, Rays 1: Masahiro Tanaka pitches a two-hit gem

Tanaka is good.

Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Yesterday, CC Sabathia had a solid outing but the fickle offense failed to pick him up. Through five innings, it started to look like Masahiro Tanaka might face a similar fate tonight. However, one sloppy inning by the Rays ended up making all the difference, as the Yankees scored three unearned runs to take a lead that would hold up for the rest of the game.

Tanaka was absolutely perfect through four innings, but Steve Pearce put an end to that dream with a leadoff single in the fifth inning. Pearce advanced to second on a wild pitch then Logan Morrison hit a groundball to Tanaka. Showing off his wheels, Tanaka turned and ran to tag Pearce out between second and third. Brett Gardner made a leaping catch at the wall to end the inning. The only other hit that Tanaka gave up was a double to Brandon Guyer in the sixth inning. Tanaka ended his night having given up just two hits with four strikeouts and zero walks.

The Yankees did the majority of their damage in the sixth inning. With one out, Brett Gardner worked a walk then Chris Archer made a throwing error on the pickoff attempt and Gardner made it all the way to third base. The Rays immediately made another error as Carlos Beltran reached on a fielding error by Taylor Motter. Brian McCann grounded into a force out to bring home one run, then Alex Rodriguez launched a two-run bomb to deep center field. All of those runs ended up being unearned. Carlos Beltran tacked on another run in the eighth with a solo shot to right.

Joe Girardi let Tanaka back out for the seventh inning then lifted him in the eighth in favor of Andrew Miller. Tanaka was only at 82 pitches, but Girardi does like to use his formula. Miller made it through the eighth unscathed and Girardi decided to send Kirby Yates out for the ninth inning. Yates got two quick outs before giving up a home run to Pearce. Evidently not trusting Yates to get the final out of the game, Girardi had to bring in Aroldis Chapman to end the game.

Tomorrow Michael Pineda will square off against Matt Moore at 4:10 EST. Here's hoping that Pineda can follow in his teammate's footsteps and improve upon his last three-run outing.

Box score.