Masahiro Tanaka struck out 10 batters in Monday's two-hit shutout over the Rays, increasing New York's lead in the AL East standings to 1.5 games.
Manager Aaron Boone called it a "big-time performance to kick off this series for us," and Tanaka dominated from the get-go.
He retired the first nine hitters he faced, the first hit he allowed an Austin Meadows fourth-inning single. He retired the last 10 batters he faced, needing 111 pitches for his first shutout since July 24, 2018 ... also against the Rays.
Tanaka became the first Yankee since Mike Mussina in 2002 to strike out at least 10 batters and give up two or fewer hits in a shutout.
It was the kind of start Tanaka needed to right the ship, as he had been 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA over his previous three outings.
But Tanaka's success against the Rays isn't new. Including Monday's shutout, Tanaka is 2-0 with a 0.41 ERA in three starts against Tampa Bay this year. He has allowed one run and 10 hits in 22 innings.
"He's got our number right now," Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters. "Whatever he's doing and whatever we're doing, it's not working."