Yanks’ and Tanaka’s winning streaks stopped

The extra day’s rest did not help Masahiro Tanaka Wednesday night as it had in his three prior starts, all winning decisions. The righthander labored his way through six innings in which the Rangers had base runners in each of them. Tanaka worked out of a couple of jams nicely but he could not keep Texas batters from reaching base on a regular basis.

Tanaka fell behind in the count continually in the outing, which robbed him of effective use of his split-finger fastball, a key weapon for him. His slider lacked the usual bite as he allowed nine hits and three walks. He left the game trailing, 4-2, but it might have been worse if the Rangers had done better than going 3-for-12 (.250) with runners in scoring position. They were 3-for-5 at one point before Tanaka held them hitless in the last seven clutch at-bats Texas had against him. The Rangers finished the 5-2 victory by going 4-for-17 (.235) in those situations.

Sloppy base running by the Rangers also kept the game close. Tanaka picked off Delino DeShields at first base after he walked him to start the first inning. Texas catcher Robinson Chirinos doubled with one out in the fourth but made the mistake of trying to cross to third base on a ground ball to the left side and was an easy out on shortstop Didi Gregorius’ alert toss to Chase Headley to stifle that rally.

One night after five runs in the first inning were not enough for the Rangers, who watched the Yankees do the rest of the scoring with 21 runs, five would be sufficient for Texas to end a four-game winning streak by the Bombers. The Yankees scored 11 runs in the second inning Tuesday night but only got two in that same frame Wednesday night. That turned out to be the only inning in which they scored.

Carlos Beltran led off that inning against eventual winning pitcher Colby Lewis (11-4) with his eighth home run of the season, and the Yankees added a run on successive singles by Gregorius, Stephen Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury.

However, Tanaka (7-4) coughed up the lead in the bottom of the inning as the Rangers used four singles and a walk to score three runs. Tanaka put the lead runner on base in five of his six innings. Two of them scored, including Adrian Beltre in the fifth when Josh Hamilton, who had two hits and two RBI, grounded into a double play.

The Yankees bullpen’s stretch of hitless innings ended at 13 when Hamilton singled in a run with two down in the seventh off Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre call-up Caleb Cotham. The run, charged to Chasen Shreve, was not earned due to an error by Gregorius, his first since June 21.

It was a winning night all around for the Rangers, who also acquired All-Star pitcher Cole Hamels from the Phillies in an eight-player trade.

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