Rangers sign Japanese reliever Yoshinori Tateyama

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Japanese reliever Yoshinori Tateyama has signed a one-year contract with the Rangers that also includes team options for 2012 and 2013.

Unlike higher-profiles Japanese players such as Hisashi Iwakuma and Tsuyoshi Nishioka there was no “posting fee” required to negotiate with Tateyama, as he’s a 35-year-old veteran who was simply a free agent following 12 seasons in Japan.

A side-arming right-hander with a high-80s fastball, Tateyama had a 1.80 ERA, .212 opponents’ batting average, and 59 strikeouts in 55 innings this season and has a career ERA of 3.43, including a sub-4.00 mark in eight of the past nine years.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.