J.J. Hardy scheduled to begin rehab assignment Friday

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Out since April 7 with a strained oblique muscle, J.J. Hardy is slated to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tomorrow at Triple-A.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was unsure how long the rehab stint would last, telling Robert Falkoff of MLB.com “we’ll see how long he needs [to be] there … they have a good, long homestand.”

Injuries played a big part in why the Twins traded Hardy to the Orioles this offseason and he lasted just six games before landing back on the DL.

Robert Andino has been the primary shortstop in Hardy’s absence and is hitting .293 with a .388 on-base percentage despite terrible career numbers coming into the season.

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.