Any team this season in the major leagues that finds itself trailing the Yankees with right-handed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka on the mound might as well forget about any thoughts of a comeback. Just finish up the game and focus on the next day’s.
That’s because New York’s “rookie” and soon-to-be All-Star entered Tuesday’s game against the Indians at progressive Field with a 12-3 record, 2.27 ERA and armed with a devastating splitter that leaves his hand like a fastball, but ends up darting left or right on bewildered hitters.
But the Indians didn’t concede defeat Tuesday, despite trailing 3-0 after two innings and went on to claw back into the game and using two big home runs to secure a 5-3 victory against Tanaka.
Instead, they scratched out a run in the first and fifth innings on Michael Brantley doubles. Nick Swisher added a two-run home run in the sixth and Brantley a solo shot in the seventh to chase Tanaka – the Indians handing him season and career highs in hits (10) and runs (five).
Meanwhile, Tribe starter Trevor Bauer righted himself after a shaky start and went on to give the host seven strong innings in which he limited the Yankees to three runs (two) earned on four hits. The bullpen followed suit with two solid frames, including closer Cody Allen notching the save.