NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka had been undefeated in his last 14 starts entering Friday's game against the Rangers, but for the first time in nearly four months, the Yankees starter recorded a loss.In his first defeat since April 17, Tanaka allowed six runs on six hits, including three home
NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka had been undefeated in his last 14 starts entering Friday's game against the Rangers, but for the first time in nearly four months, the Yankees starter recorded a loss.
In his first defeat since April 17, Tanaka allowed six runs on six hits, including three home runs, through five-plus frames as New York fell to Texas, 12-7, at Yankee Stadium. In his previous five starts, Tanaka had permitted just six runs and three homers through 30 1/3 innings since returning from the disabled list on July 10.
"I think the splitter was especially not good," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "It didn't really have any good movement. ... I have an idea of what's wrong, so I'll make an adjustment before my next start."
Tanaka allowed just one hit through the first three innings, but Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he noticed Tanaka struggled to find his splitter early in the evening.
"I thought eventually he kind of found his split a little bit, just not the real good command and feel of all his pitches that we've seen for the better part of the month," Boone said. "And that's a hot offense over there that if you're really not on top of it, they can really make you pay."
Adrian Beltre blasted a two-run homer and Ronald Guzman hit a solo shot in the fourth to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead. After Elvis Andrus doubled in two runs in the fifth, Guzman launched his second long ball of the night on an 86-mph splitter in the sixth.
"It becomes tougher obviously," Tanaka said of not having command of his splitter. "It's not there all the time, that's part of it. I feel like I've done a pretty good job recently that, even if I don't have my split, I'd be able to kind of grind my way through with minimal damage. But today, that wasn't the case. I gave up that much runs. Hopefully I can do a better job next time out."
A.J. Cole came on in relief in the sixth and permitted four runs -- two earned -- through two frames, including another home run to Guzman -- the first rookie to have a three-homer game against the Yankees -- on an opposite-field shot to left that just cleared the wall.
"Kind of trying to really reset our 'pen a little bit, knowing if we go to our high-leverage guys we're going to have a lot of those guys down tomorrow if we had to use them today," Boone said of the bullpen usage. "So, trying to squeeze every bit we could out of A.J. Some of their lefties obviously gave him some problems and started getting into some deep counts, and that pitch count ran up, so just a tough night finishing guys off."
Brett Gardner got the Yankees on the scoreboard in the fifth inning with a solo shot to right-center field that snapped a 21-game homerless drought. Miguel Andujar knocked in a run on a ground-rule double and Luke Voit hit a two-run single in the sixth. Austin Romine tried to spark a late-game rally with a solo homer in the seventh followed by a two-run single in the eighth, but the Yankees were unable to claw all the way back.
"I would've been more pleased if we got the win," Romine said of his 3-for-4 night at the plate. "I mean, yeah, I saw the ball decently, but at the end of the day it's about winning and we didn't get that."
The Yankees have scored at least five runs in 12 consecutive home games, which is the longest streak at the current Yankee Stadium and the longest home streak in the Majors this season.
HE SAID IT
"I want to kill them every time I play them, to be honest. I never liked the Yankees growing up, just the fact that every Dominican who is a Yankee fan, they are so loud and they talk so much. Now I know they hate me, but I'm happy about it." -- Guzman, who was a Red Sox fan growing up in the Dominican Republic
Lance Lynn will make his second start in pinstripes in Saturday's 1:05 p.m. ET matinee against the Rangers. Lynn (8-8, 4.58 ERA) impressed the Yankees last Monday against the White Sox, allowing just two hits with nine strikeouts over 7 1/3 scoreless innings. He had a stretch where he retired 19 straight hitters and was able to pitch into the eighth inning for the first time this year. Right-hander Andrew Hutchison (1-2, 6.29) will get the ball for Texas.
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.