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Yanks bring Tanaka show to Milwaukee
(SportsNetwork.com) - Masahiro Tanaka squares off against Yovani Gallardo Friday night at Miller Park in the opener of a weekend interleague series between the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers.
Tanaka is looking to improve to 5-0 in his first big league season. In fact, he has not tasted defeat since Aug. 19, 2012 while pitching in Japan.
"He's a top-of-the-rotation starter, and that's what you expect from guys like him," catcher Brian McCann said. "It's hard to believe he's only 25 years old. I feel like I keep saying that, but this guy's got some poise. He competes every time he's on the mound and gives us everything he's got."
Against Tampa Bay this past Saturday, the right-hander continued what has been his trend of starting a bit slow but finishing strong. Tanaka gave up two runs in the first inning but yielded only one more over the next five frames as the Yankees went on to win, 9-3.
"I think I was able to get my rhythm back as I got deeper into the game," said Tanaka, who will now get a chance to step into the batter's box for the first time in his major league career.
For Milwaukee, Gallardo has gone five straight starts without a victory ever since winning his first two outings of the season. He brings a 2.47 ERA into Friday's game but was touched up for a season-high four earned runs on nine hits over six innings at Cincinnati last Saturday.
Gallardo has never faced the Yankees.
Milwaukee is in a bit of a slide with losses in six of its last eight games. A slumping Aramis Ramirez (2-for-42) and an injured Ryan Braun have not helped matters, although the Brewers got a chance to catch their breath with an off day Thursday.
New York was also idle on Thursday. The Yankees earned a series win over the Angels with Wednesday's 9-2 victory. They jumped out to a 5-0 lead after one inning, then Derek Jeter went deep in the second for his first home run of the season.
"It's good to get one," Jeter said. "I'm not catching Babe Ruth or anything, but at least you'd like to get one. The important thing is that we got a win. It was a good game for us in a lot of different ways."
This will be the Yankees' first trip to Miller Park since 2005, when they lost two out of three to the Brewers.
05/09 10:46:25 ET