Baseball / MLB

Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka bounces back from worst start of career

Kyodo, AP

Masahiro Tanaka provided a solid but unspectacular start Wednesday, bouncing back from the worst performance of his career to help the New York Yankees beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-5.

Tanaka threw four scoreless innings but exited with none out in the fifth at Yankee Stadium after allowing the tying run on base with New York ahead 2-0.

The Yankees finished the frame down 3-2, but would retake the lead for good on a two-run blast by Austin Romine against reliever Yoshihisa Hirano in the seventh.

Tanaka struck out four, while giving up two earned runs on five hits and three walks. It was a turnaround from the 30-year-old right-hander’s previous outing, a 19-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox in which he relinquished 12 runs and 12 hits over 3⅓ innings.

According to STATS, it was the second-worst performance in Yankees history, outdone only by Carl Mays, who allowed 13 runs at Cleveland in 1923.

“Given my previous start, I made some big adjustments before taking the mound,” said Tanaka, who was 2-1 in five July starts. I’m taking it one pitch at a time, and it definitely feels like things are moving in the right direction.”

Adam Ottavino (4-3) got the win for a 1-2-3 seventh, while closer Aroldis Chapman registered his 27th save of the year.

Arizona starter Zack Greinke held New York to two runs in five innings.

Hirano (3-5) was tagged with the loss after surrendering three runs on three hits in one-third of an inning.

The right-hander entered the game after a rain delay and gave up the go-ahead run to Romine with his first pitch, a 131-kph forkball. He left with no outs in the eighth following consecutive base hits to Aaron Judge and Edwin Encarnacion.

“I made it too easy for that home run with my forkball. The rain is no excuse,” Hirano, said. “I needed to match my pitching to the conditions, but I couldn’t. That’s all there is to it.”

For the Yankees, Mike Tauchman went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, including a two-run homer against Greinke that gave New York the lead in the second.

Reds 4, Pirates 1

In Cincinnati, Clint Hurdle and David Bell had little interaction while exchanging lineup cards one day after their teams fought on the field, and the two teams were on good behavior during the Reds’ victory over Pittsburgh behind a strong outing from Luis Castillo.

Bell and three Reds, including now-traded Yasiel Puig, were ejected for a ninth-inning brawl during the Pirates’ 11-4 win on Tuesday night. Four Pirates also were ejected. Major League Baseball was reviewing video of the fight Wednesday and was expected to hand down suspensions over the second fracas between the NL Central rivals this season.

Bell went after Hurdle during the fight and was restrained in a headlock by batting coach Rick Eckstein. Bell repeatedly cursed at Hurdle as he left the field.

Braves 5, Nationals 4 (10)

In Washington, Josh Donaldson homered against Sean Doolittle in the top of the 10th, and Atlanta pulled out a victory over the Nationals to take two of three in the series and pad its NL East lead to 6½ games.

Cubs 2, Cardinals 0

In St. Louis, Kyle Hendricks struck out seven in seven innings and Ian Happ hit an RBI single in the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie as Chicago beat the hosts and moved into a tie with the Cardinals atop the NL Central.

The teams have identical 57-50 records. St. Louis has lost three of its last four.

Hendricks (8-8) allowed seven hits and didn’t walk a batter in a 104-pitch effort.

Giants 5, Phillies 1

In Philadelphia, Jeff Samardzija tossed three-hit ball over six scoreless innings, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Kevin Pillar homered in a five-run fifth and short-handed San Francisco beat the hosts.

The Giants were down three relievers after a flurry of moves before the trade deadline, but Samardzija (8-8) handcuffed the Phillies for his fifth straight road win.

In Other Games

Rangers 9, Mariners 7

Dodgers 5, Rockies 1

Blue Jays 4, Royals 1

Rays 8, Red Sox 5

Tigers 9, Angels 1

Twins 7, Marlins 4

Mets 4, White Sox 2

Brewers 4, Athletics 2

Indians 10, Astros 4