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Masahiro Tanaka puts Yankees in hole they can’t get out of – New York Post

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Masahiro Tanaka puts Yankees in hole they can’t get out of – New York Post

May 28, 2019 | 10:10pm
| Updated May 28, 2019 | 10:44pm

Having used six relievers to get a win on Monday, Aaron Boone entered Tuesday night’s game against the Padres looking for a daily double from Masahiro Tanaka: length and a victory.

The manager received six innings, but Tanaka put the Yankees in a four-run hole in the opening frame and absorbed a 5-4 loss that was witnessed by a Yankee Stadium crowd of 37,028.

Tanaka gave up a three-run homer to Eric Hosmer in the opening inning and another run in the sixth and fell to 3-4 in a dozen starts.

The AL East-leading Yankees’ second loss in three games lowered their record to 35-19.

Padres manager Andy Green used four relievers in the seventh inning — three for three batters — and it didn’t work well for him.

Lefty Brad Wieck walked Kendrys Morales to start the inning before Clint Frazier struck out looking. Green called for righty Phil Maton to face the right-handed hitting Thairo Estrada, who walked. That brought lefty Robbie Erlin for Brett Gardner, and he bounced a single through the right side. Enter right-hander Craig Stammen and DJ LeMahieu’s single to center scored two runs and cut the deficit to 5-3.

Clint Frazier argues with umpire Eric Cooper after being called out on strikes in the eighth inning.
Clint Frazier argues with umpire Eric Cooper after being called out on strikes in the eighth inning.Paul J. Bereswill

Luke Voit’s slower roller hit the third-base bag and loaded the bases for switch-hitter Aaron Hicks. His grounder to the right side forced Voit at second but scored Gardner to make it a one-run game. It stayed 5-4 after Gary Sanchez lofted a routine fly to left.

Former Yankee Kirby Yates recorded the final three outs for his major league-leading 21st save in 21 chances.

After the Yankees battled to pull tight, Frazier’s indecision and Joseph Harvey’s wildness loaded the bases in the eighth. Frazier broke back on a line-drive single to right and then whiffed on the ball with a headfirst dive that went for a double by Ty France and chased Manuel Margot to third. Harvey, who hit Wil Myers to start the inning, walked No. 9 hitter Austin Hedges to load the bases for Greg Garcia. He struck out and the Yankees could play the infield back for Franmil Reyes.

Luis Cessa surfaced from the Yankees’ bullpen and kept it a one-run game by inducing Reyes to hit a bullet ground ball to shortstop Gleyber Torres.

Nothing in Tanaka’s immediate past indicated he would struggle. In his previous four starts he was 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA. In those outings the Yankees went 3-1.

Back-to-back singles by Voit and Hicks in the sixth ended Eric Lauer’s night. With Sanchez, who homered off the left-handed Lauer in the fourth, coming to the plate, Green called for right-hander Matt Wisler.

Sanchez, the first Yankees batter to hit with a runner in scoring position, whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball. Wisler stranded two runners by retiring Torres on a stress-free fly to left.

Sanchez’s second homer in as many games and his 17th of the season cut the Padres’ lead to 4-1 in the fourth. With one out and Lauer ahead in the count, 1-2, Sanchez drove the next pitch into the netting beyond the center-field fence. The blast was measured at 436 feet.

The Yankees entered Tuesday night’s action with a .979 fielding percentage, which was the third worst among AL teams. Their 40 errors were tied for the third most with the Blue Jays and they had committed 18 in their previous 24 games.

Though the Padres certainly hurt Tanaka after LeMahieu was charged with a fielding error on leadoff hitter Garcia’s grounder in the first inning, the miscue helped fuel a four-run rally.

Reyes followed with a sharp single to right in front of Manny Machado’s bloop single to left that scored Garcia. Hosmer followed by driving a 1-1 pitch over the center-field wall for a three-run homer that upped the visitors’ advantage to 4-0 against Tanaka.

Helped by Reyes hitting into an inning-ending double play in the second, Tanaka didn’t give up a run from the second to the fifth inning despite allowing at least one base runner in each frame.

Tanaka wasn’t as fortunate in the sixth, when three consecutive one-out singles by France, Hedges and Garcia (a bunt single) pushed the Padres’ lead to 5-1.

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