It looked like this would be a tough loss, with Masahiro Tanaka pitching well, but not well enough, and the Yankees' offense not performing well at all, backing up Tanaka with just one run through his outing before getting him the no-decision after leaving the game in the 7th. The Yankees the game-winning run in the 8th inning on a wild pitch that scored Jacoby Ellsbury from third base, then held on as they beat the Los Angeles Angeles, 3-2, in the series final Sunday night.
Wild Thing: Michael Kohn walked Ellsbury, struck out Derek Jeter and walked Carlos Beltran to give the Yankees runners on 1st and 2nd with one out for Brian McCann. Kohn left, Mick Maronde came in and threw a pitch right over the plate that got past catcher Chris Ianneta, moving both runners into scoring position, then Maronde threw a slider in the dirt that got away from Ianneta, scoring Ellsbury from 3rd to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead in the 8th.
To give a more simple recap of those events: the Yankees scored the game-winning run on two walks, a passed ball and a wild pitch. No hits in between.
The streak lives: Tanaka was both good and bad in his fifth start of the season. Tanaka didn't have much command, walking four batters -- two more than he had coming into the game -- and even hitting a batter, but the upside was far better than you would have thought. He struck out 11 -- raising his season total to 46 -- while giving up just (just) two runs on five hits in 6.1 innings. If this was Tanaka at his worst, I'll accept it any day of the week.
Tanaka ran into trouble in the 4th inning when he loaded the bases with just one out before getting JB Shuck to ground into a fielder's choice, scoring a run to give the Angels a 1-0 lead, then getting Colin Cowgill to strikeout to end the inning.
After the Yankees tied the game at 1-1 on a Ichiro groundout in the 5th, Tanaka gave up a solo homerun to David Freese to open the 6th inning.
He left the game trailing with the Yankees trailing, 2-1, but thanks to Mark Teixeira's game-tying homerun in the 7th inning, he took home the no-decision, keeping alive his very long winning streak, as Tanaka will remain 3-0 in the majors this season, and has not lost a regular season game since August 19th, 2012.
Enter Alabama: David Robertson closed out the game for the Yankees for the second straight night, but not without making it interesting, as he so often does. Robertson struckout Ian Stewart to open the inning, then walked Ianneta after a 10-pitch at-bat. He got JB Shuck to ground out, then struck out Raul Ibanez to end the game. No, Robertson is not Mariano Rivera, but the results have been very much the same through the early part of the season.
NOffense: Playing along with the theme from Friday night, the Yankees' offense was very quite Sunday night against Angels right-hander Garrett Richards, managing just three hits over the seven innings he pitched. Kelly Johnson singled to open the 3rd inning, that was their first hit of the night in an inning that turned into nothing. Brian Roberts doubled in the 5th, moving Teixeira, who walked to open the frame, over to 3rd, where he would score on the Ichiro groundout. The only other hit was a Mark Teixeira homerun in the 7th.
Tex message: As I mentioned, it was Teixeira's solo homerun in the 7th inning that got Tanaka off the hook for the loss. He took advantage of a Richards fastball, and sent it far into the right field seats for his second homerun of the season.
Warren's wrath: Adam Warren was great as a late-inning reliever out of the bullpen once again, holding the Angels to just one hit over 1.2 innings, with a pair of strikeouts on 24 pitches. Warren has really come into his own as a strong arm in the bullpen. With all of the talk about the Yankees' bullpen being particularly weak right now, I say that he, Dellin Betances, Shawn Kelley and David Robertson are the real, reliable relievers that the Yankees have.
Final notes: Jeter went 0-for-4, dropping his average down to .276 ... The Yankees' 1-5 hitters were a combined 0-for-15 in the game, as the bottom of the lineup did most of the small damage done by the offense ... Brett Gardner did not play because of soreness with his right foot after being hit by a pitch Saturday; I would think he'll be fine to play on Tuesday, as well as Yangervis Solarte, who was a late scratch because of right shoulder soreness.
Up next: The Yankees have Monday off as they prepare for Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners to come to town for a three-game series that starts on Tuesday in the Bronx. David Phelps will get the start for the Yankees in place of Michael Pineda, who was suspended 10 games for the pine tar incident at Fenway Park last week.
Check out the blog throughout the day tomorrow as we'll be updating with a few off-day stories for you're reading pleasure.