Masahiro Tanaka had what was probably his worst outing of the season Thursday for the New York Yankees, but baseball being what it is, Tanaka still got the win and set a team rookie record in the process.
Tanaka pitched seven innings, giving up nine hits and four runs while striking out just three batters (yes, that's an off night by his high standards). But the Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins by the score of 7-4, advancing Tanaka's record to 12-3 and raising his ERA a little bit to 2.27, still fourth best in MLB.
The 12 wins for Tanaka are both the most in MLB and a rookie record for his team, according ESPN and Elias Sports Bureau.
Masahiro Tanaka is the 1st Yankees rookie to win 12 games before the All-Star Break (confirmed by @EliasSports).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 4, 2014
The four earned runs given up by Tanaka are the most this season for him, another sign that his transition to MLB from Japan has been quite smooth. This was Tanaka's first game in which he did not get a "quality start" (at least six innings with three runs or fewer allowed).
Masahiro Tanaka allows 4 ER for 1st time in career; 16 straight quality starts to begin career ties Steve Rogers for most since ER tracked.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 4, 2014
The win put the Yankees at .500 again at 42-42. Kind of makes you wonder where they'd if they hadn't won the Tanaka sweepstakes this offseason.
ORIOLES MOVE INTO FIRST-PLACE TIE: Steve Pearce went 4-for-5 to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers. The Orioles completed a four-game sweep, and more importantly, moved into a first-place tie in the AL East with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays lost to the Oakland A's in that wacky replay game, thus knotting up the AL East. The Orioles were in third place in mid-June, but they're 9-4 since June 17.
URIBE LIFTS DODGERS OVER ROCKIES: Juan Uribe has a flair for fashion and a flair for the dramatic. He came through again for the Los Angeles Dodgers with the game on the line. Uribe singled in the ninth inning to score Matt Kemp and give the Dodgers a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.
Zack Greinke pitched the Dodgers to victory, hurling eight strong innings with eight strikeouts. However, he gave up the tying run in the eighth when Justin Morneau tripled. Good thing for Greinke (now 11-4) that Uribe was around to get the big hit.
RAYS 'JENNY' LINEUP FLOPS: On the day the Tampa Bay Rays based their lineup on one-hit wonder Tommy Tutone's "Jenny" — you know, 8-6-7-5-3-0-9 — Joe Maddon's boys weren't much better than Mr. Tutone. They managed only two hits.
It goes to show: Max Scherzer > Jenny.
Scherzer, the Detroit Tigers' ace and reigning Cy Young winner, struck out seven and gave up one run in eight innings. His counterpart wasn't nearly so sharp. Erik Bedard gave up three homers in the first inning, pretty much sealing the Rays' fate right then and there. They lost 8-1. There was no "Jenny" karaoke in the Rays clubhouse afterward.
For the rest of Thursday's results, check out our scoreboard.
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