Masahiro Tanaka pitched eight scoreless innings and Ronald Torreyes drove in the winning run in the 10th as the Yankees edged the Texas Rangers, 2-1, on Friday night in the Bronx.
Tanaka delivered one of his best outings in what has been a trying season. He allowed only three hits, walked two and struck out nine. His matchup with countryman Yu Darvish turned out to be a classic pitchers' duel. Darvish was arguably even better than Tanaka, allowing two hits, walking nobody and striking out 12 in seven scoreless innings.
The game remained 0-0 until the top of the ninth inning, when Aroldis Chapman's third strike to Adrian Beltre got by Gary Sanchez, allowing Elvis Andrus to score. However, Brett Gardner's solo home run off Matt Bush tied the game in the bottom half of the frame and forced extra innings. Bush was still on the mound when Torreyes drove in Sanchez the following inning to win the ballgame.
There was a one hour and 42 minute delay at the start of the game as intermittent rain swept over the tri-state area.
If there was a team that needed a walkoff win, it was the Yankees. It didn't come easy as the Yankees needed a Gardner homer in the ninth to send it into extra innings and a bases loaded escape by Shreve in the top of the 10th inning. The Yankees have to be feeling very good about the win and Tanaka's performance.
Tanaka matched zeroes with his fellow countryman, Darvish, through seven innings and then outlasted him by another. Tanaka was dialing it up to 96 mph in the eighth with high cheese and showed some nasty splitters and sliders throughout the night. Tanaka racked up 22 swing and misses tonight. Hopefully it is a confidence builder for Tanaka, who came into Friday's game with a 0-6 record and an 8.91 ERA over his last seven starts.
The Yankees continue their series with the Rangers on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Yankee Stadium. Luis Cessa takes the mound against Austin Bibens-Dirx.