So Masahiro Tanaka has resorted to his old ugly habits, and now the once-promising Yankees will limp into the All-Star break without a series win since June 11.
With a 5-3 loss to the Brewers Sunday at the Stadium, the Bombers are back to four games over .500. Before Friday, the Yankees were last at four games over .500 on April 18. They’ve lost seven of their past eight series dating back close to a month. The lone set they didn’t drop was a split series at the White Sox.
Entering Sunday, Tanaka had strung together three quality starts in a row, but he stumbled in the matinee, allowing four earned runs before departing with one out in the fifth. All four runs came on homers, including a three-run shot from Travis Shaw in the opening frame.
The Japanese right-hander now owns a 5.47 ERA over 18 starts, the fourth-worst mark among all qualified pitchers in the American League.
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The Yankees (45-41) have lost 18 of their last 25 games. They’ll have four days off before returning to action Friday at the Red Sox.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Trailing by two runs, the Yankees threatened in the bottom of the seventh when Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge both reached safely, bringing up Gary Sanchez with two outs and two on. Sanchez put a charge into a line drive the other way to the right-field corner, but Brewers outfielder Domingo Santana tracked down the rocket and made a leaping catch to end the inning.
With two men on in the bottom of the sixth, Chase Headley nearly put the Yankees ahead when he smacked a long fly ball down the right-field line. The ball landed in the second-deck seats, and the umpires originally ruled it a fair ball. But on review, it was clear the ball sailed to the right of the foul pole. The crew overturned the home run, and Headley struck out. The Yankees failed to score in the inning.
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STAR OF THE GAME
Shaw, who went 2-for-4 with a home run, walk and four RBI. The Red Sox traded the third baseman for virtually nothing in the offseason, and they’re surely regretting it. Shaw is hitting .299 with 19 HR and 65 RBI on the season.
14.37, Tanaka’s ERA in six daytime starts this season.
Rookie Clint Frazier, who homered for the second-straight day, blasting an opposite-field dinger into the Yankee bullpen in the fourth to bring the Bombers within two runs.
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Didi Gregorius, who went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in his second game this season hitting in the three-hole.
Friday, July 14 at Boston, 7:05 p.m.
TBA vs. TBA
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