ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – Masahiro Tanaka needed only 73 pitches over seven innings Sunday to get his third win of the season and lead the New York Yankees to a 7-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Tanaka (3-3) outdueled reigning Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell (3-4) and equaled his season high of seven innings, allowing one run and five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks against the Yankees’ AL East rivals at Tropicana Field.
“I got ahead in the count early so I think that’s one main reason (for my good pitching),” Tanaka said.
“Especially in the bottom half of the frame after my teammates scored, I was determined not to give up any runs,” added Tanaka, who retired the side in order in the fifth after Mike Tauchman got the Yankees on the board with an RBI double.
The 30-year-old, playing his sixth season in the majors, held the Rays scoreless over the first five innings and got three groundouts in succession in the seventh. His sole blemish was a sixth-inning home run off the bat of Austin Meadows.
DJ LeMahieu singled in another run in a two-run fifth, and the Yankees scored five runs in the final two innings to take two of three games in the series and move to within a half-game of Tampa Bay in the American League East.
Red Sox 11, Mariners 2
In Boston, J.D. Martinez hit two homers, rookie Michael Chavis drove in five runs and the surging Red Sox beat stumbling Seattle to complete a three-game sweep.
The World Series champions have won five straight games and 16 of 22 following a 6-13 start.
Astros 15, Rangers 5
In Houston, George Springer was 5-for-5 with four RBIs and a pair of home runs as the Astros completed a four-game sweep of Texas and extended their winning streak to five.
Alex Bregman also homered twice and tied his career high with five RBIs as Houston set season highs for runs and hits (18).
Cubs 4, Brewers 1
In Chicago, Jon Lester pitched 6⅔ gutsy innings, Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer and the Cubs beat Milwaukee to take a weekend series between the top teams in the NL Central.
Lester (3-1) gave Chicago exactly what it needed a day after it used seven relievers during a 2-1 victory in 15 innings. Taking the mound on a rainy, cold night at Wrigley Field, the ace left-hander allowed an unearned run and nine hits while throwing a season-high 116 pitches.
Bryant had three hits and scored three times, reaching safely for a career-best 22nd straight game and helping the division-leading Cubs close out an 8-2 homestand.
Dodgers 6, Nationals 0
In Los Angeles, Ryu Hyun-jin took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, Corey Seager hit a grand slam and Dodgers split a four-game series with Washington that featured three shutouts.
Nationals newcomer Gerardo Parra, who hit a grand slam Saturday night, played spoiler at Dodger Stadium again by breaking up Ryu’s no-hit bid with one out in the eighth. Parra drove the left-hander’s 105th pitch deep to left-center, where it bounced on the warning track and over the wall for a ground-rule double that ended up being Washington’s only hit of the day.
Braves 5, Diamondbacks 3
In Phoenix, Max Fried (1-2) pitched five effective innings after leaving his last start early, Johan Camargo hit an early two-run single and Atlanta beat the Diamondbacks.
Tyler Flowers had two RBIs, including a run-scoring triple in the eighth inning.
In Other Games
WHITE SOX 5, BLUE JAYS 1
TIGERS 5, TWINS 3
PHILLIES 6, ROYALS 1
PIRATES 10, CARDINALS 6
ROCKIES 10, PADRES 7
ORIOLES 5, ANGELS 1
GIANTS 6, REDS 5
INDIANS 5, ATHLETICS 3
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5