Superstar pitcher Masahiro Tanaka fell to only his second ever defeat in MLB on Sunday against the Balitmore Orioles who thrashed the New York Yankees 8-0 at Yankee Stadium.
In truth, Tanaka was able to keep the game in the balance while he was on the field: seven innings pitched and just three runs conceded.
But it was the fruitless Yankees offense who failed to back-up their pitcher.
For the second game in a row the Yankees offense failed to make an impact, scoring just one run in Saturday’s 6-1 defeat to the O’s.
Tanaka has been superb for the Yankees with an 11-2 season record from 15 games started and a useful 2.11 ERA.
The Japanese star had an off day compared to his supremely high standards. Jonathan Schoop scored a home run in the second innings but Tanaka recovered and threw four scoreless frames to keep the game tight.
After he had struggled in his opening three innings, tossing 60 pitches, the Japanese pitcher found his groove and threw just 33 pitches in the next three. But after being asked to pitch a seventh, Tanaka began to struggle and was picked off against the Orioles offence.
J.J. Hardy singled and Manny Machado doubled to begin the inning, then Schoop and Caleb Joseph saw them both home from the plate to boost the score to 3-0. That saw the end of Tanaka but with a misfiring Yankees batting line-up, the Orioles made the game comfortable in the eighth.
Reliever Adam Warren struggled to make an impact and gave up a bases-loaded double to Hardy which saw three runs added. Machado followed up with another run and in the ninth Joseph hit his first career homer.
The defeat lies solely with the Yankees' batters who mustered just four hits in the regulation nine innings. The defeat leaves the two sides tied both on 39-35 for the season and level second-place in the American League East division. Both sides are just one and a half games behind league leaders Toronto Blue Jays (42-35).
The Yankees head to Toronto in a three-game series which could see the lead at the top of the division change.