Yanks’ Tanaka tames Rays with three-hit shutout

by Gary Shelton on July 25, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Chirinos pitched 6 2/3 innings for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Chirinos pitched 6 2/3 innings for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

One night after beating up the best pitcher on the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays saw their bats shrivel to the size of toothpicks.

The Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka made the Rays' hitters looked feeble in a 4-0 victory Tuesday night, allowing only three hits and striking out nine. Tanaka (8-2) pitched the first complete game of the year against the Rays.

Only a night after getting a career-high 11 hits and seven runs off of Luis Severino, the Rays never did figure out Tanaka. Only C.J. Cron, who had two hits, seemed to be better than helpless.

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#19 Masahiro Tanaka-0079

Tanaka tamed the Rays with three hits./JEFFREY S. KING

“I know Chad’s (Mottola, hitting coach) message before the game was pretty spot on," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "He’s going to throw a lot of off-speed pitches and he’s going to try and get you to chase below the zone and we did that. He made two or three mistakes all night. When you pitch like that you are going to have success. A couple balls up that C.J. handled, but other than that, he was at the knees or below. A lot of late action, cut, sink and the split was the equalizer. He was really good. He was really tough."

Cron had two of the Rays' three hits./JEFFREY S. KING

Cron had two of the Rays' three hits./JEFFREY S. KING

The Rays, who had won five in a row against New York, mounted only one real threat. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Cron singled and Ji-Man Choi walked with none out. But Tanaka struck out Daniel Robertson and got a double-play ball from Mallex Smith.

“(He was) keeping his fastball down, like knee-high, or up out of the zone, and to lefties, mixing in his splitter, which obviously is his pitch right now," Rays' first baseman Jack Bauers said. "We just ran into a dude who had an unreal night.

Choi's bat has improved as of late./JEFFREY S. KING

Choi's bat has improved as of late./JEFFREY S. KING

“It's frustrating, sure, but that’s the AL East. You can never take a night off.”

For the Rays' Yonny Chirinos started the game and was serviceable. He went 6 2/3 inning and allowed six hits and three runs.

“I thought he was outstanding," Cash said. "I really did. The first inning, that run shouldn’t have come across. He gave up the second run, but then after that, the play in left field, that’s on me, that’s on us as our group for positioning. We play our positioning. We ask our left fielders and our outfielders to play in unique spots, but that’s generally an out.

"I thought Yonny did an outstanding job, along with Chih-Wei (Hu). Both of

Adames played well in the field./JEFFREY S. KING

Adames played well in the field./JEFFREY S. KING

them came in and threw strikes. Yonny got us much deeper in the ballgame than maybe we were anticipating before the game started.”

Chirinos wouldn't blame the Yankees' potent lineup.

“I’m just out there to compete. It doesn’t matter who it is out there. I try not to think about who is in the box, but I feel good to be out there and pitch against whoever is in the box.”

The Rays finish their series with New York today at 12:10 p.m. at the Trop. Nathan Eovaldi pitches for the Rays against Luis Cessa.

Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, looks on for Yankees./JEFFREY S. KING

Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, looks on for Yankees./JEFFREY S. KING

 

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