(The Sports Xchange) - Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira hit solo home runs, but the big difference for the New York Yankees on Saturday was Masahiro Tanaka.
The right-hander pitched his first complete game of the season, and the fourth of his career, in a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Just an unbelievable job by Masahiro,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We had him on a short leash (in the ninth), but we sent him back out there.”
Tanaka (9-5) allowed five hits, three walks and one run while striking out eight.
“He was great,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He was on. He was hitting his spots, both sides. Nice little split, was dotting his fastball.”
Beltran’s first-inning home run was his second of the series. He won the game for the Yankees on Friday with a three-run, pinch homer in the eighth.
“I feel good at the plate,” Beltran said. “I’m seeing the ball good, I feel calm. I’m laying off bad pitches and swinging at good pitches.”
The Yankees (64-51) have won three successive game to move 1-1/2 games ahead of the second-place Blue Jays (64-54) in the American League East.
Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada (10-7) gave up only three hits in six innings, but two were home runs that accounted for both runs against him. He also allowed two walks and struck out three.
“I guess the line looks pretty good but I missed a lot of spots today,” Estrada said.
“I wasn’t my usual self. I got away with a lot. For the most part I thought I was all over the place.
“I gave the team the chance, but you’ve got to tip your hat to Tanaka. He pitched a heck of a game.”
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury