Yankees starter RHP Masahiro Tanaka suffered his first loss in four starts as the Yanks lost, 11-5, in the series opener against the Rangers.>> Box score
The Yankees got off to a hot start as they put together a four-run second inning. Jacoby Ellsbury hit an RBI single to score Matt Holliday while Gary Sanchez hit a two-RBI single to score Chase Headley and Ellsbury to build a healthy lead.
However, the Rangers would tack on runs as the innings rolled on. Nomar Mazara put Texas on the board with a solo shot off Masahiro Tanaka in the bottom of the second. In the third, Delino DeShields and Elvis Andrus each plated a run with RBI doubles.
After a wild pitch to tie the game, 5-5, Andrus roped a two-RBI single to right to take the lead. From there, the Rangers would let up the lead as they added more insurance throughout the game.
Tanaka would finish the game with his first loss in four starts as he allowed seven runs on eight hits while striking out seven and walking none in four innings of work.
The Yankees offense burst out to a four-run lead with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound. What could go wrong? Well, just about everything.
The offense basically retreated into a shell and Tanaka was completely ineffective. There were some fielding miscues along the way, but Tanaka couldn't shut things down as he had in his last three starts.
While the play was uninspiring after the third inning, the managing was nothing short of confusing. With the Rangers up two to start the bottom of the seventh inning, Yankees manager Joe Girardi basically gave up. He inserted Caleb Smith, who shouldn't be pitching in a close game while in a playoff chase, and he promptly loaded the bases without getting an out.
Girardi might point to being without Adam Warren, but the truth is he used the reliever he needed tonight (Chad Green) in yesterday's game in which the Yanks had a seven-run lead. That was Smith's spot for innings, not tonight and it blew up in Girardi's face.
The Yankees (75-64) play the second game of a three-game set with the Rangers (70-69) on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Luis Severino (12-6, 3.03 ERA) will face Andrew Cashner (9-9, 3.29 ERA).