Tanaka, Yankees dominant in 11-1 rout of Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Masahiro Tanaka was spotted a five-run lead before he ever took the mound on Saturday. The Yankees sent every batter in the lineup to the plate, so he waited longer than usual to pitch the first inning.
He had a comfortable 10-run lead when he took the mound for the second time as the Yankees batted around. Waiting can be difficult, but for Tanaka, he made it look easy.
”We’re getting good starting pitching that’s given us a chance to win for the most part every day,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. ”Our at-bat quality has been outstanding. I feel day in and day out this is a team that takes a lot of pride in making a pitcher work really hard for everything they get. It doesn’t always result in a bunch of runs, but more often than not, we’ve eventually got to someone.”
The Yankees (17-9) have won eight consecutive games and have outscored opponents 62-17 during that streak. They had 14 hits Saturday and still left 10 men on base.
”It’s always good to have some run support,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. ”I don’t know if this applies to all pitchers, but sometimes when you’re waiting that long to get into the game, that can at times throw you off rhythm, kind of. So that was kind of the challenge. For me, I was able to come through strong. Today was a good day.”
The Angels (16-11) after a hot start to the season have lost eight of their last 11 games.
”It’s tough. Usually you’ll have a couple guys that are in and out of a funk or whatever,” Cozart said. ”Right now, myself included, we haven’t put together a lot of stressful innings. But, we’re early in the year. We know were not going to continue to hit like this. There’s no panic or anything.”
Aaron Judge was 3-for-3 by the time the game was just three innings old. Miguel Andujar had three hits as well. Angels starter Garrett Richards allowed four extra-base hits in 1 2/3 innings before he was chased. He gave up nine runs (five earned) on five hits and walked three.
Tanaka (4-2) was dominant. He retired the first eight batters he faced and struck out the side in the second inning. He didn’t allow a hit until Mike Trout singled to left field to lead off the fourth inning.
The much-anticipated matchup between Tanaka on the mound and fellow countryman Shohei Ohtani didn’t happen since Ohtani was out of the lineup with an ankle injury. Ohtani and Tanaka faced each other in Japan in 2013, but Ohtani never got a hit off Tanaka. Their first meeting in Major League Baseball will have to wait.
The Angels got on the board via a Zack Cozart leadoff solo home run to left field off Tanaka in the fifth inning.
Richards (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season. His ERA climbed to 4.88.
Albert Pujols was 0-for-4. He has 2,995 hits.
Gleyber Torres made his Major League debut April 22 at second base, and he’s played seven games. He’s yet to play in a Yankees loss. Manager Aaron Boone has compared his defense to that of Javy Baez. Torres had another two hits Saturday, and he’s batting .296. Life is good.
”The team is awesome. Everyone is playing super well,” Torres said. ”The bullpen, starting pitchers, everyone. We play together as a team. That’s the most important.”
Asked about his comfort level, Torres said: ”Super good. I know everybody now. I have a lot of comfort with everyone. Everyone is on the same page. I try to do my job every day. I try to do my job and have fun.”
Yankees: OF Clint Frazier (concussion symptoms) was 0-for-4 with one run scored Saturday in a rehab assignment with Class A Tampa, his third consecutive game. He is 0-for-8 over the last two days.
Angels: SS Andrelton Simmons (sore right forearm) was scratched from Saturday’s lineup. He was hit by a pitch in the forearm one week ago … RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani (mild left ankle strain) was out of the lineup Saturday. He was sore and receiving treatment after he left Friday’s game after rolling his ankle a little bit on the first-base bag.
Yankees: CC Sabathia (1-0, 1.86) earned his first victory of the season in his fifth start Tuesday against Minnesota. He’s unbeaten in his last 12 regular season starts dating back to last season. The 37-year-old was on the disabled list with a hip strain for 12 days.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (3-1, 2.96) leads the Angels in innings pitched (27 1/3) and has the best ERA among Angels starters. He earned th win against Houston in his last start, going seven scoreless innings.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball