Behind seven strong innings from Masahiro Tanaka and some late heroics by Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees began the second half of the season with a 4-3 win over the Mariners last night at Yankee Stadium.
Tanaka allowed three runs in the victory, with Kyle Seager doing all of the damage. Seager hit a solo home run in the third inning before hitting a two-run shot in the fifth. However, Tanaka was able to keep the rest of the Mariners offense off the board. He struck out seven and walked two in the victory and now owns a 3.65 ERA and 74/15 K/BB ratio over 74 innings on the year.
The game was tied 3-3 before Alex Rodriguez connected for a go-ahead solo homer off Joe Beimel in the bottom of the seventh inning. You can watch it here. It was A-Rod’s 19th home run of the season and the 673rd of his career. Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller each threw a scoreless inning to finish off the win for New York.
The Yankees now sit at 49-40 on the year and hold a 4 1/2 game lead in the American League East.
Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:
Royals 4, White Sox 2; Royals 0, White Sox 2
Mariners 3, Yankees 4
Marlins 3, Phillies 6
Cubs 2, Braves 4
Rays 2, Blue Jays 6
Cubs 2, Braves 4
Indians 1, Reds 6
Pirates 1, Brewers 4
Orioles 3, Tigers 7
Mets 2, Cardinals 3
Tigers 2, Astros 3
Giants 6, Diamondbacks 5 (12 innings)
Red Sox 0, Angels 1
Rockies 2, Padres 4
Twins 5, Athletics 0
Dodgers/Nationals – suspended
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.