Last Wednesday, Masahiro Tanaka showed traces of being human for the first time all season, allowing a season-high four earned runs against the Minnesota Twins.
On Tuesday night, the Cleveland Indians took it a step further, tagging Tanaka for five earned runs and 10 hits, also a season-high, in a 5-3 victory over the Yankees (45-44) in front of 23,384 fans at Progressive Field.
Tanaka allowed a leadoff single on the first pitch of the game to Jason Kipnis, who later stole second base. A Michael Brantley double drove him in to give the Indians (44-45) their first lead of the game. Over the next four innings, Tanaka went into cruise control, retiring 11 of the next 14 batters he faced after Brantley’s double.
In the fifth inning, another Michael Brantley double drove in a run, scoring Chris Dickerson, who led the inning off with a single.
In the sixth, Nick Swisher added a two-run homer, scoring Lonnie Chisenhall, who led the inning off with a single. Notice a theme? The Indians were getting on Tanaka early in innings and making him pay for it.
The dagger in Tanaka’s night came in the form of a Brantley solo homer in the seventh inning, giving him a team-leading 14 home runs and 60 RBI. The All-Star finished the night 3-for-4 with two doubles, a homer, three RBI and a run scored.
Tanaka was finished after 6-plus innings pitched. He allowed five earned runs on 10 hits and a walk, allowing two earned runs. It was the worst start of Tanaka’s season, and thus Major League career, and the first time he allowed more than eight hits while allowing a home run and a walk.
On the rubber for the Indians was Trevor Bauer, who again outpitched one of the game’s premier pitchers.
Bauer got off to a rocky start, allowing two earned runs in the first inning after walking the leadoff batter and allowing an RBI single to Mark Teixeira.
He ran into trouble again in the second inning, allowing Ichiro Suzuki to reach base to lead off the inning, later scoring on an RBI groundout by Brett Gardner.
Bauer, like Tanaka, then settled in. Unlike Tanaka, he never let go of his stuff. After the Gardner groundout, only one of the next 20 batters Bauer faced reached base on a hit or a walk. Two others reached base on errors, but that’s no fault of Bauer’s.
Bauer went seven innings, striking out six and walking two while allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits. He improved to 3-4 with the win.
Bryan Shaw worked a scoreless eighth for the hold and Cody Allen went 1-2-3 in the ninth inning to earn his 10th save of the season.
By August Fagerstrom - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)
©2014 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
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