NEW YORK -- After Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka matched zeros in a marvelous pitching matchup, the smallest Yankee delivered the night's biggest hit, as Ronald Torreyes laced a run-scoring single to lift New York to a 2-1 victory over the Rangers in 10 innings on Friday at Yankee Stadium.Torreyes
NEW YORK -- After Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka matched zeros in a marvelous pitching matchup, the smallest Yankee delivered the night's biggest hit, as Ronald Torreyes laced a run-scoring single to lift New York to a 2-1 victory over the Rangers in 10 innings on Friday at Yankee Stadium.
Torreyes drove home Gary Sanchez with the winning run after Brett Gardner cracked a game-tying solo home run off Matt Bush with one out in the ninth, the right-hander's third blown save in his last five chances. Texas scored the game's first run in the top half of the inning when Elvis Andrus came home on a passed ball.
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"I'm so happy because we got the win," Torreyes said through an interpreter. "I was just looking to hit something hard and made good contact. I was looking for something that I could drive up the middle. I've got to say, without Tanaka, we don't have a chance. He was excellent tonight."
The game was nationally televised in Japan, where the first pitch accompanied viewers' breakfasts, and Darvish and Tanaka lived up to the hype by blanking their opponents. Darvish set down the Yanks on two hits through seven innings, striking out 10 without a walk; Tanaka permitted just three hits through eight innings, striking out nine with two free passes.
"I think it was good for the Japanese fans," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "I don't know who was more popular in the game, but for me, I'm just glad that I was able to give a pretty strong performance."
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It was the 15th time that Japanese-born starters opposed each other in a Major League contest. Darvish and Tanaka went head-to-head four times professionally in Japan, most recently on July 20, 2011. Darvish's Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters won three of those four meetings against Tanaka's Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.
The effort was one of Tanaka's best of the season, snapping a stretch in which he had gone 0-6 with an 8.91 ERA in seven starts. Tanaka set down a string of 16 straight batters beginning in the third inning; Darvish similarly raised his game, retiring 13 straight in his 88-pitch effort.
"It was a challenge for both teams' hitters," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Two brilliant Japanese pitchers, they faced each other before. They were stars in Japan, they were stars here. Pitch for pitch, inning for inning, it was a great ballgame."
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Toe times two: Playing third base in place of the injured Chase Headley, Torreyes contributed a pair of sparkling defensive plays behind Tanaka. Torreyes made a diving stop to start an inning-ending double play on a Shin-Soo Choo grounder in the third inning, then backhanded a ball down the line in the seventh, one-hopping his throw to first base in time to rob Andrus of a leadoff hit.
"Toe made some really good plays tonight as well as that big hit," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "The double play that he turned, a ball that was wet. He backed up and fielded [the other one] backhand. It was really a complete game." More >
Bush struggles again: Bush was called upon to protect a 1-0 lead in the ninth but gave up Gardner's 14th homer of the season on a 2-1 fastball. Bush has allowed four home runs in his last eight innings. The fastball was clocked at 97.9 mph. That's the hardest pitch Gardner has hit for a home run since Statcast™ started tracking in 2015.
"It looked to me coming out of my hand it was going where I wanted it, down and in," Bush said. "With his swing … it looked like he was ready for it."
"I don't know what they were thinking in Japan, but every time between innings [Andrew] Cashner was wiping my face to get TV time in Japan." -- Darvish, on his teammate
Rangers: Right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx makes his fourth start for the Rangers and his first career appearance against the Yankees at 12:05 p.m. CT on Saturday in the Bronx. He is 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA in three outings in June.
Yankees: Right-hander Luis Cessa will head to the mound at 1:05 p.m. ET for his second start (third appearance) of the season as the Yankees and Rangers play the second game of their weekend set at Yankee Stadium. Cessa took the loss on Sunday in Oakland, allowing four runs in four innings.
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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.