05302020

Masahiro Tanaka knocked around in 5-3 loss to Indians as Swisher homers

This is a face Yankees fans remember: Nick Swisher homers off of ace Masahiro Tanaka to help the Indians to a 5-3 win over the Bombers on Tuesday night.Ken Blaze/USA Today This is a face Yankees fans remember: Nick Swisher homers off of ace Masahiro Tanaka to help the Indians to a 5-3 win over the Bombers on Tuesday night.



CLEVELAND – Has the league figured out Masahiro Tanaka, or has the All-Star hit the rookie wall?


Either way, the Yankees have to be a little worried about their $155 million man.


Tanaka lost for the third time in four starts, suffering the worst start of his brief career as the Indians slugged their way to a 5-3 win over the Yankees in front of 23,384 fans at Progressive Field.


Tanaka was knocked around for five runs on 10 hits – both season-highs – and one walk. He hadn’t allowed more than eight hits or three earned runs in any start before last Thursday, when he gave up four runs on nine hits in a win against the Twins.


Nick Swisher delivered the big blow against his former team, swatting a two-run home run in the sixth that gave the Indians their first lead of the night.


Michael Brantley also took Tanaka deep, part of a 3-for-4 night that also included a pair of RBI doubles and a superb running catch that robbed Derek Jeter of an extra-base hit in the first inning.


In his two starts this month, Tanaka has allowed nine runs over 13.2 innings. For what it’s worth, he allowed a total of nine runs in 37 innings in his five June starts.

Tanaka can only watch as he surrenders two home runs. Tony Dejak/AP


Tanaka can only watch as he surrenders two home runs.

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Tanaka is yanked in the 7th inning. Has he hit the rookie wall? Jason Miller/Getty Images


Tanaka is yanked in the 7th inning. Has he hit the rookie wall?

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Masahiro Tanaka can only watch Nick Swisher’s ball leaves the park (l.) and looks befuddled after being pulled in the seventh inning (r.) of a 5-3 loss to the Indians.



Trevor Bauer held the Yankees to three runs (two earned) on just four hits over seven innings, striking out six. He retired the final 10 batters he faced, then watched Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen finish off the win with a perfect inning apiece. The Yankees failed to record a hit after the third inning, putting only one man on base – on an error – over their final 20 batters.


The Yankees are now 4-2 on their 11-game road trip. They have two more games in Cleveland before heading to Baltimore to face the first-place Orioles in a three-game set before the All-Star break.


The Yankees continued their recent trend of pouncing on opposing starters, scoring a pair of runs in the first inning.


Mark Teixeira singled in the game’s first run, then Jacoby Ellsbury and Teixeira executed a double-steal, but Yan Gomes’ throw to second sailed into center field, allowing Ellsbury to score for a 2-0 Yankees lead.


Tanaka gave one back in the bottom of the first as Jason Kipnis led off with a single, stole second and scored on Brantley’s double, cutting the lead in half.


The Yankees responded with another run in the second against Bauer on Brett Gardner’s RBI groundout, though the Yankees stranded a runner at third base to end the inning.

Brett Gardner and the Yankees offense can't help out their ace.Tony Dejak/AP Brett Gardner and the Yankees offense can’t help out their ace.


Cleveland had runners at second and third against Tanaka in the second, but the All-Star retired Asdrubal Cabrera to end the threat. That began a run of seven straight outs for Tanaka, who appeared to find a groove reminiscent of his first two-plus months.


The Indians sliced the lead to one run in the fifth, getting a second RBI double from Brantley, Cleveland’s lone All-Star representative.


Lonnie Chisenhall opened the sixth with a single, bringing Swisher to the plate. Swisher, who hadn’t homered in 40 at-bats before taking Shane Greene deep on Monday, drilled a 1-2 slider over the wall in right-center, giving the Tribe its first lead of the series.


Bauer, considered by many to be one of the top pitching prospects in the game as recently as last year, settled down after the second. He worked around an error in the third to strand two runners on base, retiring 13 of 14 batters between the third and seventh, the lone exception coming on an error by Swisher in the fifth.


Brantley added a solo shot off Tanaka in the seventh, pushing the Indians’ lead to two. Carlos Santana followed with a single, knocking Tanaka from the game to bring his worst night in the majors to an end.

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