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When all else fails, when everybody in the lineup forgets how to hit, when players are suffering injury setbacks left and right, the Yankees still have Masahiro Tanaka. He was on the mound yesterday in the second game of this weekend series against the Twins, and once again he stepped and gave his team a big outing when they needed one to lead them to victory.
- The lone blemish on Tanaka's ledger came in the top of the 1st, once again thanks to bad infield defense. Brian Dozier got on base to lead off the game on a Kelly Johnson error, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Josh Willingham base hit.
- It was slow sailing for the Yanks against Kevin Correia through 3 innings. They loaded the bases in the 1st, put 2 on in the 2nd, and 1 on in the 3rd and came away with nothing, ending the first 2 innings on double plays.
- They broke through to tie the game in the bottom of the 4th on a Yangervis Solarte solo home run. It was his 6th of the season and it came with 2 outs. Not a bad way to break out of a slump.
- Tanaka was lights out after the 1st. He put runners on in the 2nd and 3rd as he was finding his command, but he retired the final 8 batters he faced in order and kept the Twins off the scoreboard again through 8.
- They waited long enough, but the offense finally got him some runs to put him ahead in the bottom of the 8th. Jacoby Ellsbury singled, stole second, and moved to third on a bad throw, Brian Roberts walked, and Brian McCann double Ellsbury home for the go-ahead run. Johnson singled in Roberts for insurance and D-Rob struck out the side in the 9th for the save.
- Tanaka: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 9 K. Another dynamite performance. I really don't know where this team would be without him this season.
- Solarte: 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 3 LOB. 5 hits in his last 2 games. Hopefully this is a sign that he's officially coming out of his slump again.
- Brendan Ryan: 0-4, 1 K, 5 LOB. An 0-fer night as a light-hitting shortstop in the 9-hole?? Come on, guy! What the hell are you doing out there?!?
Series finale this afternoon and the return of an old friend in former failed top prospect Phil Hughes. Chase Whitley gets the start for the Bombers.