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Ace Performance By Tanaka Leads Yanks To 4-1 Win Over Jays

The New York Yankees arrived in Toronto this weekend a 1/2 a game back from the Blue Jays. The goal was to not repeat what had happened last weekend at Yankee Stadium when the Jays swept the Yankees causing their fall from the top of the American League East.

Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees. (Courtesy of Sporting World News)

Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees. (Courtesy of Sporting World News)

On Friday night, the Yankees pulled off the win with a blast from Carlos Beltran who was put in the game to pinch-hit for Chris Young and they were now a 1/2 of a game ahead.

On Saturday afternoon the Yankees’ Ace Masahiro Tanaka(9-5, 3.56) took the mound and for the first time faced the same team in consecutive starts, but this time he was ready for the Jays. Tanaka went on to pitch a complete nine inning game on 111 pitches allowing just one run off of five hits; striking out eight and walking three. Tanaka’s only trouble came in the bottom of  the fifth when he loaded the bases with no outs after allowing walks to Ryan Groins and Troy Tulowitzki and a single to Ben Revere. A sacrifice fly by Josh Donaldson to send Goins home and tie the game at one, would be the only damage as Tanaka went on to strikeout Jose Bautista and causing a pop out by Edwin Encarnacion, leaving two runners on.

The Yankees got on the board first when Carlos Beltran hit his second homerun in as many games on a fly ball to right center off of Toronto’s Marco Estrada (10-7, 3.20) in the top of the first. Mark Teixeira put the Yankees back up  after he crushed his thirty-first homer of the season on a fly ball to right field also off of Estrada.

Estrada went six innings allowing three hits and his two runs accounting for solo homers; walking three and striking out three.

In the top of the eighth a RBI single by Teixeira off of veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins put the Yankees up 3-1. In the top of the ninth, with Aaron Loup pitching for the Jays, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a RBI single of his own to send home John Ryan Murphy who had crushed a double earlier in the inning.

The eighth inning was also a big one for Greg Bird as he had his first Major League hit on a 94mph fastball with an 0-2 count. Bird started his second game since being promoted to the Yankees, as he played first base.

With a final score of 4-1, the Yankees took the victory over the Toronto Blue Jays and are now 1.5 games ahead in the AL East, but this fight for the division is definitely not over yet.

The final game of this weekend series will take place at the Rogers Centre at 1:07pm on Sunday afternoon.

Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany

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