The Yankees knew their five game winning streak would come to an end at some point, they probably just didn't expect their run of success to stop at a Tanaka outing. Their ace gave up five runs (along with another run from Kirby Yates) and with the offense mustering only one run, it was too much to overcome.
Despite the five runs Tanaka allowed, he didn't pitch a bad baseball game. Allowing merely seven baserunners over 6.1 innings, the righty was done in by a pair of home runs. The first of which came off the bat of Nick Castellanos in the second inning, to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. The second would blow a tie-game open, with Ian Kinsler hitting a three run shot in the fifth inning, scoring Justin Upton and Jose Iglesias. Tanaka would later give up a single to James McCann, who came around to score when Kinsler struck again with a double off Yates.
Although the bats haven't come back to what they were last year, New York's offense was very much alive over the winning streak. Alas, they were quiet on Saturday. The lone run came in the third inning, when Chase Headley hit a triple and was driven in by a Rob Refsnyder single.
The offense wasn't able to do much more, with Justin Verlander limiting them to just five hits and a walk over 7.2 frames. The only other times the Yankees threatened were in the third, with men on first and second with one out, the seventh on a Didi Gregorius double with two outs, and the ninth when some weird infield singles resulted in bases loaded with two outs. Unfortunately, all of those situations ended without a run.
Other noteworthy occurrences on Saturday were a Chase Headley home-run-turned-triple on a challenge (though it didn't matter with Refsnyder knocking him in immediately after) and a nice catch by Jacoby Ellsbury that ended with the standard face-plant into a wall. Nick Goody holds a 4.32 ERA to his name on the year, but he looked great in the eighth inning in this one, giving up a single but striking out the side. Richard Bleier has now thrown 3.2 innings of scoreless baseball since joining the big league team, giving up just two hits over that span.
It was also a banner day for former Yankees. Shane Greene struck out Chase Headley (to neutralize a Gregorius double off Verlander) and Rob Refsnyder, with Justin Wilson following him to retire Ellsbury and Brett Gardner.
Although the Yankees' offense was stagnant again, the team played better than the score indicates. Tanaka was burned on just a couple of poor pitches and for the most part was very solid. A lack of production from the lineup reminds us that—even on winning streaks—the offense is the biggest weakness and is liable to be quiet on any night.
The Yankees have returned to .500 with the loss, and have a tough task tomorrow night with the cruising Michael Fulmer facing off against Pineda. Although Big Mike has thrown better of late, the rookie Fulmer has given up just one run over the past 28.1 innings. The game will begin at 2:05 pm ET.