Masahiro Tanaka is letting people know that his elbow feels fine as he pitched his second straight game of seven-inning, one-run ball. Tanaka got offensive support from Stephen Drew and company, and the New York Yankees defeated the Washington Nationals 6-1 Tuesday night.
Tanaka (W: 4-1, 2.48 ERA) allowed only one earned run in his seven innings of work. He scattered five hits, walked no one, struck out six, and allowed a home run. On the season, he has 39 strikeouts in his 36 1/3 innings spread over six starts. Tuesday's was his second start since coming off the disabled list, which he hit because of elbow issues. He has shown himself healthy to this point, and he has regained his status as the ace of the staff.
Drew sandwiched two solo home runs around a four-run Yankee rally. His first (8) came in the bottom of the third off Max Scherzer, and his second (9) came in the eighth off Taylor Hill.
That four-run rally occurred in the bottom of the seventh with two outs. With runners at first and second Alex Rodriguez grounded to short. Ian Desmond's only play was at third base, but he threw the ball into the Yankees' dugout to allow Ramon Flores to score. An intentional walk to Mark Teixeira loaded the bases. Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran each followed with singles. McCann's brought home Rodriguez and Brett Gardner, and Beltran's plated Teixeira. The inning ended with the Yankees holding a 5-1 lead.
Rodriguez was 0 for 5 on the night and remains nine hits shy of 3,000 for his career.
Washington scored its lone run on Bryce Harper's solo home run (20), a long drive just to the right of Monument Park in left center field off Tanaka (video). It was the only mistake Tanaka made the entire night.
Scherzer (L: 6-5, 2.13) allowed four earned runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked one, struck out seven, and gave up Drew's first home run. The four runs in the seventh were earned despite the two-out error because of the fielder's choice ruling on A-Rod's ground ball. The runs would have scored on the singles.
On Wednesday, Gio Gonzalez (4-3, 4.57) takes on Nathan Eovaldi (5-1, 4.16). The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. EDT.