CLEVELAND – Masahiro Tanaka surrendered five runs in 6⅔ innings on Tuesday as the New York Yankees fell 5-3 to the Cleveland Indians.
Pitching on four days’ rest for the second straight time, Tanaka (12-4) was leading 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, when Nick Swisher followed a leadoff double with a two-run homer at Cleveland’s Progressive Field.
“It is frustrating not being able to shut them down,” said Tanaka, who started his evening with a two-run lead. “So many pitches got into the middle of the zone, and that was the story. If they were in the middle of the zone, batters were making good contact.
“It’s not like everything I tried failed, but I have some adjustments to make and I’ll have to do what’s necessary.”
After Michael Brantley homered with two outs in the seventh, Tanaka surrendered a single to the next batter and Yankees manager Joe Girardi came out with a hook.
“I don’t think his stuff was bad, but he did make mistakes,” Girardi said.
The five earned runs, on 10 hits and a walk, are the most Tanaka has surrendered since Aug. 19, 2012, when he was still pitching in Japan for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. With a little less drop on his split-fingered fastball than usual, Tanaka had trouble in the first two innings. But taking advantage of great movement on his slider, Tanaka went into cruise control, posting back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the third and fourth.
Tanaka still looked in command in the fifth, when he gave up a ground single and a two-out double to Brantley. The ball cued off the end of the bat on a splitter and just got past third baseman Zach Wheeler to make it a 3-2 game.
While his teammates failed to mount any offensive threats after stranding two runners in the third, the Indians took the lead in the sixth. Lonnie Chisenhall put a good swing on a two-seam fastball away and pulled it into right field for a leadoff single.
Tanaka went to his slider with a 1-2 count to Swisher. The pitch hung in the middle of the zone with little movement on it, and Swisher hammered it, driving it into the front row of seats beyond the fence in right center for his seventh homer of the season.
“He made mistakes with some of his pitches,” Swisher said. “I was waiting for the slider and it didn’t break.”
Tanaka finished with five strikeouts.
The Yankees scored twice in the first inning off right-hander Trevor Bauer (3-4), who didn’t look like he would be long for the game, but lasted seven innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits and two walks.
Ichiro Suzuki, was 1-for-4 for the Yankees.
“He (Bower) has some good pitches,” Ichiro said. “Once he found himself, it felt like they got a little better.”
Tigers 14, Dodgers 5
In Detroit, Justin Verlander settled down after a terrible first inning and the Tigers rallied in emphatic fashion.
White Sox 8, Red Sox 3
In Boston, Conor Gillaspie hit a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the sixth inning for his third hit of the game and Chicago beat the struggling Red Sox.
Rays 4, Royals 3
In St. Petersburg, Florida, Evan Longoria drove in two runs as Jeremy Hellickson went 4⅓ innings in his season debut.
Twins 2, Mariners 0
In Seattle, Minnesota’s Phil Hughes pitched into the eighth inning, and Sam Fuld barely cleared the wall with his second home run of the season.
Astros 8, Rangers 3
In Arlington, Texas, Chris Carter led off two innings with home runs, George Springer had one inning-starting long ball and Houston beat the Rangers.
Blue Jays 4, Angels 0
In Anaheim, R.A. Dickey allowed four hits over seven innings for his first victory in more than a month.
Toronto’s Munenori Kawasaki was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
Mets 8, Braves 3
In New York, rookie Jacob deGrom struck out 11 in seven shutout innings and also delivered a table-setting hit from the No. 8 spot in the batting order as the Mets tagged All-Star Julio Teheran and Atlanta.
Phillies 9, Brewers 7
In Milwaukee, Domonic Brown homered and had a two-run single and Philadelphia rallied from a early deficit.
Marlins 2, Diamondbacks 1
In Phoenix, Marcell Ozuna hit a two-out, two-run home run off Addison Reed in the ninth inning to spoil a brilliant Arizona debut by Vidal Nuno.
Rockies 2, Padres 1
In Denver, Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run homer and Franklin Morales pitched effectively into the sixth inning.
Cardinals 5, Pirates 4
In St. Louis, rookie Kolten Wong gave the Cardinals their second straight game-winning ninth-inning home run.
Athletics 6, Giants 1
In Oakland, Sonny Gray struck out eight to win his third straight decision.
Orioles at Nationals — ppd.