After losing five consecutive games, the Yankees won their third consecutive game on Saturday. They were able to move 1.5 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the AL East with their win on Saturday.
Masahiro Tanaka pitched his most important game in his two seasons with the Yankees as he pitched a complete game while only allowing one run on five hits. Tanaka had eight strikeouts and threw 112 pitches in the Yankees 4-1 win over Toronto. Tanaka was able to give the bullpen a much needed day off, which will mean that everybody will be available in the series finale.
Tanaka has proven in his last two starts that he is still capable of being the ace of the staff after struggling four starts. It appears that the Yankees will be able to rely on him in Game 1 of a postseason series.
“Just an unbelievable job by Masahiro,” manager Joe Girardi said. Tanaka added that he wanted to pitch deep into the game because he knew that Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller had thrown a lot of pitches recently. “My mindset was I wanted to go as deep into the game as possible,” Tanaka said through a translator. “I’m just really satisfied that I was able to do that.”
The Yankees scored four runs on nine hits including a solo homer by Carlos Beltran in the first and a solo blast by Mark Teixeira in the sixth. Teixeira had his second RBI of the game in the eighth inning as his single to center scored pinch-runner Chris Young. That was an important insurance run and this was Teixeira’s first multi RBI game since August 4. He had only one RBI since then.
Luis Severino will get his third start of the season for the Yankees and will look to help the Yankees sweep the Blue Jays. He has allowed three combined runs in his first two starts and has held the opposition to a .214 average. His slider, four-seam fastball and changeup have all been very effective, and he was able to rebound very well in his last start after struggling in the first two innings.
This is the lineup for today’s game against Toronto at Rogers Centre:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B