GAME 34: With a rare successful series in Anaheim just behind them, the Yankees bounced into Milwaukee tonight in high spirits to face the National League Central division-leading Brewers.
Even with the best record in MLB at the moment, the Brew Crew are in a slump. They’ve lost 6 of their last 8, and have their star player Ryan Braun on the DL. Would it be a good time to catch them — or do they snap out of it? As the schedule gods would have it, the Brewers drew the short straw tonight in facing the undefeated ace of the New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka. And Tanaka did not disappoint.
A 4th inning 3-run homer from Yangervis Solarte, and RBI double from second baseman Brian Roberts provided the Yankees with all the runs they’d need.
Backed with a 4 run lead, Tanaka went 6 1/3, striking out 7 and walking only one and was dominant through the first 5 innings. He let up 2 runs in the sixth, and with back to back 1-out singles in the seventh, manager Joe Girardi made the call for Adam Warren, who induced a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play to end the inning.
In between registering 3 strikeouts in the 9th, closer David Robertson allowed a home run by last year Yankee Mark Reynolds, but got the save and helped keep Tanaka’s unbeaten record intact at 5-0.
Yangervis Solarte Bringing the Power
Yangwho? He was on the radar of few Yankees fans in Spring Training. And with serious odds stacked against him to make the trip north on the Opening Day roster. (Who thought they’d actually whack Nunie?) As the club secured Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury to reignite the offense, guess who leads the team in the RBI dept? You got it. Solarte, with 18. Tonight, Solarte’s blast positioned the Yankees for the victory. To date, it’s been a great story, and it has to be like living a dream for Solarte himself. Here’s to hoping it just keeps getting better!
Here’s the box score. And Bryan Hoch‘s recap from mlb.com.
Fighting Spirit of Japan on Display Tonight
As Tanaka dominated the current best team in the National League, 871 miles southwest in Arlington, Texas, his countryman Yu Darvish came within one out of a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox. David Ortiz singled with 2 outs in the top of the 9th to bust up the no-no.
MEMORY LANE: On May 9th 2002, Mariano Rivera gets his 225th save as a Yankee in a 3-1 victory over Tampa bay at Tropicana Field to establish a new franchise record. The previous mark of 224 was set in 1990 by Dave Righetti.
(Source: Baseball History)