The RBI single by Jacoby Ellsbury in the top of the third inning that put the Yankees up 1-0 was more than enough with the way Tanaka was pitching for the Yankees, as he fired a complete-game victory against the Mariners, his second of the 2014 season, in a 4-0 victory.
Tanaka got even more help in the top of the fourth inning when he got a three-run home run from Mark Teixeira, his 11th on the season, that put the Yankees ahead 4-0, and the home run was basically the nail in the Mariners' coffin on Wednesday night because with Tanaka pitching, they virtually had no chance to hit him and his devastating splitter.
Tanaka made a bid for his second complete-game shutout of the season, but that was broken up in the bottom of the ninth inning when Robinson Cano hit a two-run home run off Tanaka that made it 4-2; the home run was only Cano's third of the seasont. Tanaka did still pick up the complete game win and ended it with an exclamation point when he struck out Kyle Seager and Logan Morrison to end the game and give the Yankees a 4-2 win.
In the game, Tanaka went the distance going all nine innings, allowed two runs on six hits, walked one and struck out 11 and kept his league-leading ERA at 2.02. With the victory, Tanaka also improves to 10-1 on the season and further enhances his chances to win the 2014 American League Cy Young Award.
In the season, Tanaka now has 103 strikeouts in just 93.2 innings and only 14 walks through 13 starts on the season. With those kind of numbers, it's clear why Tanaka has not only been in the discussion for the Cy Young Award, but for the American League MVP Award as well.
With the complete-game shutout, it was Tanaka's second of the season; Tanaka pitched one against the New York Mets back on May 14.
With the Yankees win against the Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays losing earlier in the day to the Minnesota Twins, the Yankees are now just 4.5 games back in the American League East. On Thursday, Chase Whitley (1-0, 2.42 ERA) will look to finish off the sweep of the series when he squares off against Roenis Elias (5-4, 3.64 ERA.)
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- Masahiro Tanaka Fires Complete Game Shutout for New York Yankees; Improves to 6-0 in 4-0 Win Vs. New York Mets
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