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Tanaka, Yankees go for split with White Sox
(SportsNetwork.com) - Masahiro Tanaka will try to get back to his dominant ways on Sunday afternoon, as the New York Yankees tangle with the Chicago White Sox in the series finale at U.S. Cellular Field.
Tanaka is well on his way to an All-Star selection in his rookie season and could be on the short list for Cy Young consideration. He's 6-1 with a 2.39 ERA, is among the American League leaders with 73 strikeouts and has issued a mere eight walks in 64 innings.
After winning his first six decisions, Tanaka finally fell on the losing end of things his last time out, yielding eight hits and four runs (three earned) against the Cubs on May 20 in a 6-1 loss.
Tanaka had won 42 straight regular-season decisions dating back to his time in Japan.
"I'm a little bit disappointed because I think a lot of the fans were looking for me to keep on winning," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "Next time out, I'll try to get a win again and get it going again."
The White Sox will counter with Andre Rienzo, who has been solid in his own right with a 4-0 record and a 4.00 ERA.
Rienzo kept his perfect season alive on May 20, as he allowed just five hits and two earned runs over six innings of work while registering a career-high eight strikeouts.
The 25-year-old Brazil native would rank fourth in the AL in batting average against (.213) had he pitched enough innings to qualify.
After the White Sox earned a walk-off victory on Friday, it was the Yankees' turn for theatrics on Saturday, as Jacoby Ellsbury delivered the game-winning home run in the top of the 10th inning to lead the Bronx Bombers to 4-3 win.
"I knew I hit it well," Ellsbury said. "I though I might have hit it a little too high, but great feeling once it went out. Excited to get that win."
New York was shut out for the first eight innings but forced extras with a three-run ninth, with Alfonso Soriano, Yangervis Solarte and Brian McCann all coming through with RBI hits.
Dellin Betances (3-0) pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn the win, while David Robertson bounced back from a loss on Friday to record his 10th save.
Yankees starter Vidal Nuno allowed three earned runs across seven innings while striking out five. New York had lost two straight and four of five games before the extra-inning win.
In playing his 2,584th game at shortstop, New York's Derek Jeter set an MLB record for the most appearances at a single fielding position without having played another position.
Chicago's bullpen spoiled an excellent start from John Danks, who threw eight shutout innings, allowing three hits and zero walks. Ronald Belisario blew the save in the ninth and Zach Putnam (2-1) was saddled with the loss after serving up the homer to Ellsbury.
All the run production from the White Sox came in the first inning with RBI hits from Dayan Viciedo, Adam Dunn and Alexei Ramirez. Adam Eaton and Gordon Beckham both collected three hits.
The Yankees and White Sox have played each other tight of late, with seven of the past eight meetings decided by one run. The Yankees ended an eight-game slide at the White Sox Saturday.
05/25 09:33:40 ET