Baseball / MLB

Tanaka faces Ichiro for first time; Yanks fall to Marlins

Kyodo, AP

MLB

Facing Ichiro Suzuki for the first time, New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka surrendered two hits to his countryman and suffered his second loss of the season on Monday in a 2-1 loss to the Marlins.

After two straight starts in which everything was working, Tanaka’s command of his pitches and his location was spotty, and he fell behind nearly every hitter early on.

Tanaka (4-2) gave up a season-high nine hits, while striking out six and walking none. Because Marlins hitters failed to take advantage of several mistakes, Tanaka went seven innings for the third straight time since coming off the disabled list for a forearm strain.

“I had difficulty getting strikes and I was unable to find my rhythm at the start,” Tanaka said.

Ichiro, batting second and playing center field for Miami, had the Marlins’ first hit. Tanaka left a 1-0 fastball in the heart of the zone and Ichiro pulled it into right. His second hit was a leadoff infield single in the third that just got past Tanaka’s glove. The next batter singled sharply up the middle, but Tanaka was able to pitch his way out of trouble.

“Of course, I was thinking about that (facing Ichiro),” said Tanaka, who played alongside Ichiro in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and again last year with the Yankees. “Since he got two hits, there’s nothing to say but he really got the better of me.”

Ichiro, who was 2-for-4, is hitting .288 for the season. He praised Tanaka’s ability to gut out a tough start.

“For a starting pitcher, what matters is how you use your 100 pitches,” Ichiro said. “Thinking of it like that, he clearly looks like a pitcher. In the end, we could only manage two runs, so he made a game of it. That’s the most important thing.

“He can dial it up and ease up. He’s a crafty type (of pitcher).

Tanaka finally retired his former teammate in the fifth. With one out and a man on, the right-hander got ahead in the count before Ichiro froze on a 151-kph fastball down the middle for strike three.

“Being behind in the count, with Ichiro on the lookout for a split, I threw a fastball,” Tanaka said. “I think it was a pitch he wasn’t looking for. I was trying to go outside, but it came down the middle.”

“Facing Ichiro at this level was, since I was in elementary school, something I thought unimaginable.”

Mets 4, Blue Jays 3 (11)

In New York, Wilmer Flores singled to cap a two-out, two-run rally in the 11th inning and the Mets ended Toronto’s team record-tying 11-game winning streak.

Tigers 6, Reds 0

In Detroit, Anibal Sanchez was outstanding for a second straight start, throwing a two-hit shutout.

Cardinals 3, Twins 2

In St. Louis, Yadier Molina homered and John Lackey worked eight strong innings for the Cardinals, who won their fourth in a row with a victory over Minnesota.

Rangers 4, Dodgers 1

In Arlington, Texas, Yovani Gallardo pitched seven scoreless innings, Rougned Odor had three hits with a two-run single in his return to the majors.

Rays 6, Nationals 1

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Erasmo Ramirez pitched six scoreless innings and Tampa Bay beat Washington.

Royals 8, Brewers 5

In Milwaukee, Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer, and normally lights-out reliever Greg Holland struggled in the ninth before Kansas City held off the Brewers.

Astros 6, Rockies 3

In Houston, George Springer homered twice and made two nifty catches in right field, and Colby Rasmus hit a three-run homer.

Pirates 11, White Sox 0

In Pittsburgh, Francisco Liriano allowed two singles in eight dominant innings.

Braves 4, Red Sox 2

In Boston, Williams Perez pitched six shutout innings and Atlanta sent the Red Sox to their seventh straight loss.

Orioles 4, Phillies 0

In Baltimore, Chen Wei-yin pitched eight innings of four-hit ball and Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer.

Diamondbacks 7, Angels 3

In Anaheim, Robbie Ray allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings in his 10th major league start.

Mariners 5, Giants 1

In San Francisco, Kyle Seager hit his 11th home run with a solo shot in the eighth and Taijuan Walker struck out six in seven innings to lead Seattle.

Norichika Aoki was 1-for-4 with an RBI for the Giants.

Athletics 9, Padres 1

In San Diego, Jesse Hahn pitched well into the seventh inning against his former team and Stephen Vogt hit a grand slam to lead Oakland.

Indians at Cubs — ppd.