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When the New York Yankees signed Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka, they knew he would be good. After 12 starts in the majors, he boasts a 9-1 record with an American-League-best 2.02 ERA. His latest outing was a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.
Tanaka went six innings, giving up one run on five hits and striking out four. The one run that he gave up was a solo home run to A’s catcher John Jaso in the top of the first inning.
“He never let up, he kept going at them and going at them,” manager Joe Girardi said in his post-game press conference on MLB.com. “They were fouling pitches off; he ended up getting the big outs he needed to get.”
The Yankees got on the board in the bottom of the second, when right fielder Alfonso Soriano belted a single to center field that drove in catcher Brian McCann.
The Bombers went ahead for good in third inning on a 377-foot homer to right off the bat of leadoff hitter and left fielder Brett Gardner.
The A’s threatened to tie or take the lead a few times but left two runners on base twice. In the eighth inning, they had men on second and third but failed to drive either one in.
Yankees closer David Robertson shut the door in the ninth inning and recorded his 13th save of the year.
Oakland starter Drew Pomeranz suffered the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits in seven innings of work, reports ESPN.
By taking the final game of the set, New York avoided a sweep and ended a four-game skid. Next up for the Yankees is Kansas City on the road, while the A’s continue their east coast swing in Baltimore.