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Yankees’ Tanaka tames Tigers to earn first win since July 31

Kyodo, AP

Masahiro Tanaka gave a commanding seven-inning performance Saturday to lead the New York Yankees to a 2-1 win over the Detroit Tigers.

The Japanese right-hander snapped a five-start winless streak as he struck out six and allowed a single earned run off seven hits, with one walk.

Gleyber Torres cleared the left-field wall for a two-run homer in the fifth inning that gave the Yankees the lead and broke up Tigers starter Daniel Norris’ no-hit bid.

After conceding a first-inning run on Victor Martinez’s sacrifice fly, Tanaka kept a lid on the Tigers offense until he made way for reliever Jonathan Holder to start the eighth inning.

The Japanese ace improved to 10-5 and completed back-to-back outings of seven or more innings for the first time since last September according to MLB.com.

He earned his first victory since July 31 after going 0-3 with a 4.40 ERA in five August starts.

Tanaka joined Andy Pettitte as the only pitchers in Yankees history to reach double-digit wins in each of their first MLB five seasons.

“You can’t get a win unless you have support from everyone,” Tanaka said. “I guess getting through these tough games in the last month (of the regular season) is a good start (for the playoffs).”

The Yankees hold a five-game lead over the Oakland Athletics in the American League wild-card race for a place in the playoffs.

Torres hit his 22nd homer of the season and third since the start of the Yankees’ homestand on Monday, a stretch over which he’s batting .526 with eight RBIs.

Andrew McCutchen went 0-for-3 and struck out twice in his Yankees debut. The former NL MVP batted leadoff and played right field, a day after being acquired from San Francisco.

“I didn’t have the game I wanted to have personally, the first one, but we got the win and that’s what’s most important,” McCutchen said. “All around it was a good day and it’s a day I’m not going to forget for sure.”

Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 2

In Los Angeles, Kenta Maeda (8-8) picked up the win in relief after Matt Kemp slugged a go-ahead, two-strike, three-run homer in the eighth inning, as the Dodgers moved into a tie with Arizona atop the NL West.

With the sellout crowd of 52,394 on its feet chanting “Let’s go Dodgers,” Kemp took two quick strikes from Archie Bradley before launching his 19th homer into center field for a 3-2 lead.

“That was really fun to watch,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo added, “These kinds of games are what makes baseball great.”

Kemp is hitting .310 with five runs, two homers and six RBIs in 13 games since Aug. 15.

“Coming into September, we know what every game means,” Kemp said. “I don’t think they’re going to quit, so we got to be just as good.”

Maeda entered the game with the Dodgers trailing 2-0 in the top of the eighth. The Japanese right-hander, who was moved to the bullpen on Aug. 12, struck out two and kept Arizona hitless in a single inning of relief.

Justin Turner got the rally going with one out in the bottom of the eighth. He singled for the Dodgers’ first hit since his double in the third. Manny Machado followed with a 10-pitch walk against Bradley to set up Kemp.

The Diamondbacks’ Yoshihisa Hirano took the mound in the sixth, fanning all three batters he faced.

In Other Games

Cubs 7, Phillies 1

Braves 5, Pirates 3

Nationals 5, Brewers 4

Rockies 4, Padres 2

Mets 2, Giants 1 (11)

Reds 4, Cardinals 0

Marlins 6, Blue Jays 3

Mariners 8, Athletics 7

Astros 7, Angels 3

Red Sox 6, White Sox 1

Rays 5, Indians 3

Rangers 7, Twins 4

Royals 5, Orioles 4