NEW YORK – Masahiro Tanaka became the first Japanese major leaguer in history to post double-digit wins in the first four seasons of his career as the New York Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 10-1 on Sunday.
Tanaka surpassed two players who did it for three years in a row starting in their rookie seasons — Hideo Nomo, who accomplished the feat between 1995-1997 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Yu Darvish in the 2012-2014 seasons with the Texas Rangers.
Tanaka (10-10) fanned 10 at Yankee Stadium to record his 600th career strikeout and limited the damage to one run and six hits while walking just one over seven strong innings.
The 28-year-old right-hander, who played for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Nippon Professional Baseball from 2007-2013, was also appearing in his 100th game in the majors.
He yielded an RBI double to Nelson Cruz in the first inning as the Yankees fell behind early. But teammate Jacoby Ellsbury hit a bases-loaded double to highlight a six-run outburst in the bottom of the frame.
“I had a bit of a scare in the first inning but it was really important for me that I held them to one run in that key situation,” Tanaka said.
“Getting a win is something you can only do with everyone’s support. I want to thank my teammates,” he said.
Tanaka said he was aware of the record he was closing in on after seeing a media report, but didn’t let the hype affect his focus on the mound.
“As for my job, I try to limit the damage to as little as possible so I can maintain the high probability of the team winning. My challenge in every game is always the same,” Tanaka said.
Brewers 3, Dodgers 2
In Los Angeles, Jimmy Nelson took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and the Brewers beat Yu Darvish in his return from the disabled list.
Darvish (8-10) lasted only five innings and allowed three runs.
“I made a significant change to my pitching mechanics during the 10 days that I was on the disabled list. I felt okay in the bullpen but it’s different in a game situation, and I struggled to get the hang of it. I finally found my rhythm in the fourth or fifth inning,” Darvish said.
Twins 7, Blue Jays 2
In Toronto, Byron Buxton homered three times and set a career high with five RBIs, powering the Twins to the win.
Norichika Aoki homered for the Blue Jays, who have dropped seven of nine. Aoki finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Aoki hit a game-tying single in the second and a solo shot in the fourth, both off Kyle Gibson (8-10), to improve his average to .274, but Toronto only had seven hits to the Minnesota’s 14.
“My body is reacting well (to pitches) and I’m feeling more comfortable. Even when I’m pinch-hitting I’m taking each at-bat very seriously. I try not to forget the feel for the game I get that day or that moment,” Aoki said.
Indians 12, Royals 0
In Cleveland, Yan Gomes hit a grand slam to highlight the Indians’ nine-run second inning, and the AL Central-leaders completed a three-game shutout sweep.
It’s the first time Cleveland has posted three straight shutouts since 1956.
Athletics 8, Rangers 3
In Oakland, Matt Olson and Matt Chapman hit consecutive homers in the second inning, and the Athletics beat Texas to complete a three-game sweep.
The loss dropped the Rangers three games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card.
Orioles 2, Red Sox 1
In Boston, Adam Jones and Trey Mancini hit back-to-back RBI doubles against Doug Fister in the first inning, and the Orioles held on for a three-game sweep of the AL East-leading Red Sox.
One outing after his shocking one-hitter, in which he gave up a leadoff homer and held the Indians hitless the rest of the way, Fister (3-7) again struggled in the first inning before settling down. But this time the Red Sox couldn’t erase the early deficit, stranding 13 and batting 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Astros 7, Angels 5
In Anaheim, Brian McCann tripled with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, rallying Houston to the road win.
White Sox 7, Tigers 1
In Chicago, White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito threw seven scoreless innings to earn his first major league victory.
Marlins 6, Padres 2
In Miami, Giancarlo Stanton hit his 50th home run to break an eighth-inning tie, as the Marlins completed a three-game sweep.
Stanton became the first National League player to reach 50 homers since Prince Fielder hit 50 for Milwaukee in 2007. Stanton’s 17th homer in August tied him for the second-most in MLB history in the month, behind Rudy York’s 18 in 1937.
Phillies 6, Cubs 3
In Philadelphia, rookie Rhys Hoskins homered for the fifth straight game, going deep off Koji Uehara, and made a diving catch to start a game-changing triple play in the fifth inning.
Diamondbacks 11, Giants 0
In Phoenix, Patrick Corbin pitched seven-plus innings in his fourth straight win, J.D. Martinez homered twice and the Diamondbacks pulled away for the victory.
Mets 6, Nationals 5 (1st)
Nationals 5, Mets 4 (2nd)
In Washington, Sean Doolittle allowed a run before improving to 13-for-13 in save opportunities with Washington, and the Nationals took advantage of four straight walks by Mets pitchers to salvage a doubleheader split.
In the first game, New York’s Amed Rosario hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and the Mets cut down the potential tying run at the plate for the final out in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
Rockies 3, Braves 0
In Atlanta, Jon Gray pitched five-hit ball into the seventh inning and Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer.
Pirates 5, Reds 2
In Cincinnati, John Jaso and Starling Marte each drove in two runs as Pittsburgh earned its second straight win.
Rays 3, Cardinals 2 (10)
In St. Louis, Logan Morrison hit his second homer of the game in the 10th inning, sending Tampa Bay to the road win.
All five runs in the game were scored on solo homers.