This is the Masahiro Tanaka the Yanks expected this year, and this is the Tanaka the Yanks hope they got back from here on in.
Tanaka was absolutely brilliant tonight, retiring the first 17 batters he faced, going 8 innings, giving up just 1 run on 2 hits and striking out 14.
With the 6-1 win over the Rays, and because Boston lost, the Yanks regained first place by 1/2 game over Boston. The Yanks are now 55-46.
Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the first with a HR (19). He became the third Yankee to end a game on a walkoff HR and leadoff the next game with a HR. The others were Roberto Kelly in 1990 and HOF Joe Gordon in 1940.
Aaron Judge hit a HR in the fourth (33) to make it 2-0.
In the fifth, Clint Frazier hit a 455 ft. HR (4), a 3-run shot, to make it 5-0. I don’t know how, when Aaron Hicks returns, you send the kid down. He’s given this team a jolt.
Tanaka gave up a HR to Lucas Duda, who the Rays just got from the Mets, in the seventh to make it 5-1.
In the eighth, Didi Gregorius singled in a run to make it 6-1. It could have been two runs, but Gary Sanchez, the second runner attempting to score, was gunned down at the plate.
Tanaka (W, 8-9, 5.09) 8 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 14 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.58.