NEW YORK – Shohei Ohtani was beaten by the Yankees. He could not run away from his Japanese compatriot and Megastar. [BetOhtaniwishedhehadtakenthedayoff
Masahiro Tanaka owned Ohtani and the Angels as the Yankees drew 3-1 at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.
Tanaka struck Ohtani twice and walked him once, as Ohtani went to the plate with the same greeting as he had all the series: Loud Buhs.
Ohtani could have avoided being confronted with Tanaka, the only active Japanese, rival his star strength by signing with the Yankees in the offseason. Instead, Ohtani ran away to play in a big market to enjoy the much calmer life that comes with playing for the Angels, the Mets of Los Angeles.
Tanaka finished his best start in nearly a month with six strong one-innings. He improved to 6-2 and his ERA dropped from 4.95 to 4.62.
The Yankees recovered from a 1
The Yankees gave Tanaka a 3-0 lead in the third inning.
Aaron Judge started to center on a first pitch line drive single. Then Gary Sanchez pulled off a five-pitch run in an at-bat with a wild field that brought Judge to second base. Then Richards Didi Gregorius went on four pitches to load the bases.
Another walk with four pitches, this time to Aaron Hicks to go in the first run of the game, and Richards was for helper Jose Alvarez, who fell behind Greg Bird, 2-1, and hit him with a 90 -mph fastball to force in a second run. Miguel Andujars Grounders to shortstop brought the last run of the innings.
This lasted until Andrelton Simmons crushed a solo shot to the left field with one out in the sixth inning, making it 3-1 Yankees.
Tanaka also made a flashy stop in a comeback to start a double game that ended the fourth inning.
He took heed – a shy of his season peak – and went three batters, while he limited the angels to only three hits.
TANAKA VS. OHTANI
First inning: Tanaka beats Ohtani swinging on a full-count splitter.
Fourth inning: Tanaka falls behind Ohtani, 2-0, leading him in five pitches.
Sixth inning: Tanaka falls behind Ohtani, 1-0. He comes back to beat Ohtani, who swings in three pitches, the finisher is another splinter at the end of the zone.
Greg Bird took his first hit of the season, a single to left field in the second inning. Bird made his debut in 2018 on Saturday. The recovery from the surgery to remove a right ankle bone spur had left him off all season.
The No. 3-6 Yankees – Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks – finished 0-for-16. Stanton was 0 for 4 with four strikeouts, all came with at least one runner on base.
David Robertson (sixth) and Dellin Betances (seventh) each scored goalless innings before Aroldis Chapman saved his eleventh – although two wild pitch fastballs moved a runner from first base to third.
The hot rookie Gleyber Torres did not start. The second baseman was eliminated from the starting grid with a sore knee he had sustained on Friday. Boone said Torres could have played but was taken for precautionary reasons. Torres entered the game late and in the ninth inning he flew into deep midfield.
Monday: Yankees righty Domingo German (0-2, 5.59 ERA) against Tiger Justin Verlander (6-2, 1.08 ERA) at Yankee Stadium.
Tuesday: Yankees left CC Sabathia (2-1, 3.55 ERA) against Astros proper Charlie Morton (7-0, 2.04 ERA) at Yankee Stadium.
Brendan Kuty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ BrendanKutyNJ . Find NJ.com Yankees on Facebook.