March 31, 2018 / 2:26 AM / 20 days ago

Tanaka throws six scoreless as Yankees top Jays, 4-2

Masahiro Tanaka retired the final 13 hitters and pitched six solid innings as the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 on Friday night at the Rogers Centre.

Tanaka (1-0) began his fifth season with the Yankees by allowing one run and three hits. He struck out eight, including seven of the final 12 hitters and threw 61 of 79 pitches for strikes.

Tanaka improved to 10-4 in 16 career starts against the Blue Jays, who struck out 15 times against him in New York on Sept. 29.

Tanaka’s outing followed 5 2/3 scoreless innings from Luis Severino on Thursday. It marked the first time since 2003 — also against Toronto — that New York began a season with starting pitchers allowing one run or less in each of the first two games.

Third baseman Brandon Drury and second baseman Tyler Wade drove in two runs apiece for the Yankees, whose starting infielders finished a combined 6-for-13. Drury hit an RBI double and run-scoring single while Wade produced a two-run double.

Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson combined to pitch two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth.

Aroldis Chapman gave up two-out, two-strike doubles to pinch-hitter Steve Pearce and Yangervis Solarte. After Solarte drove in Pearce, Chapman notched his first save by striking out Randal Grichuk on a 100 mph fastball.

Grichuk hit his first homer with the Blue Jays, a solo shot in the second inning.

The Blue Jays started Josh Donaldson at designated hitter after he struggled to make throws from third base on Thursday.

Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez (0-1), who was limited to eight starts last season due to blister and nail issues, allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

The Yankees took a 1-0 lead when Drury doubled off the top of the right-field wall after Billy McKinney recorded his first career hit.

Toronto tied it with one out in the second when Grichuk hit a first-pitch fastball over the left-center fence.

Drury made it 2-1 with a single to left with two outs in the fourth and his walk loaded the bases in the sixth. Two pitches later, Wade knocked out Sanchez with a double up the middle.

—Field Level Media

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