Masahiro Tanaka gave up another three home runs to the Red Sox tonight as the Yankees fell by a tight score of 5-4.
Mitch Moreland, Hanley Ramírez and Andrew Benintendi each homered to power the Red Sox offense. Those home runs pushed Tanaka to his fifth straight loss. In those games, he has allowed 27 earned runs in 22⅔ innings. Each one of Tanaka’s pitches left the yard today (Moreland – slider, Ramírez – splitter, Benintendi – sinker). The Sox scored their first run on an RBI force out by Xander Bogaerts.
The Yankees never rolled over, but also never cashed in on their various opportunities to score. The Bombers left eight men on base, scoring on a Didi Gregorius single in the second, a Chris Carter home run (finally) in the fifth, a double play ball by Gregorius in the sixth and on a wild pitch in the eighth.
They had Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel seemingly on the ropes when he was brought in for the first out of a 4-out save in the bottom of the eighth inning. He struck out Gregorius, but the pitch went to the backstop allowing a run to score and Didi to reach first. He walked Chase Headley, but then got Chris Carter to swing at a pitch near his face to put out the fire.
The Yankees didn’t put up a fight in the bottom of the ninth inning. Kimbrel struck out the side with ease to start the home stand off on a sour note for the Yankees.
After being placed on the disabled list on May 14, it appears as though hard throwing left-hander Aroldis Chapman is approaching his return. Bryan Hoch reports that he is trying to return June 15 against the Oakland Athletics. Chapman told reporters he was going to the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa on Friday for a simulated game. He then hopes to start his rehab games with the AA Trenton Thunder.
Hoch also reported that outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury underwent an MRI on his injured neck that showed no structural damage.
“He’ll continue to take things slow. He’s not ready to go,” Girardi said, per Hoch’s post. “He’s still suffering the effects. We feel that he’s better than he was when it first happened, but still there’s no exact timetable because you just don’t know.”
Of course, Aaron Hicks has performed admirably in Ellsbury’s stead in center field.
Lastly, Greg Bird is set to take his rehab show on the road to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday after hitting safely in his first five contests for the Tampa Yankees. The Yankees obviously need all the help they can get at first base, so Bird’s return would be highly welcome.