Masahiro Tanaka

Best of MLB: Masahiro Tanaka strikes out 15 in Yankees' shutout

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Best of MLB: Masahiro Tanaka strikes out 15 in Yankees' shutout

NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka struck out 15 over seven innings, his highest total since coming to the major leagues, and the playoff-bound New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 Friday to remain on the edge of contention in the AL East.

Already assured no worse than hosting a wild-card game against Minnesota, New York began the day three games behind AL East-leading Boston with three games left, The Yankees could take the division only by beating the Blue Jays both Saturday and Sunday, having Boston lose three in a row to Houston and then defeating the Red Sox in a tiebreaker game Monday at Yankee Stadium.

Tanaka (13-12) retired his first 14 batters before Ezequiel Carerra reached on an infield single up the middle just past Tanaka's glove. Second baseman Starlin Castro made a backhand stop with a dive and threw off-balance from his knees, but Carerra easily beat a one-hop throw.

Pitching on six days' rest, Tanaka had a sharp slider and splitter, dominating a team that battered him for eight runs and three homers at Toronto on Sept. 22. He allowed three hits and walked none (see full recap).

Astros prevent Red Sox from clinching again
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox once again failed to clinch the AL East title as Alex Bregman homered and drove in three runs, giving the Houston Astros a 3-2 victory Friday night.

The Red Sox magic number remained at one to close out the New York Yankees. Boston leads the Yankees by two games -- both teams have two games left and already are assured playoff spots.

If Boston and New York wind up even, they will play a one-game tiebreaker Monday at Yankee Stadium for the division crown, with the loser getting a wild-card spot.

The Red Sox dropped their second in a row and fell to 1-4 on their homestand. The AL West champion Astros won their fifth straight game and posted their 100th victory of the season.

Hanley Ramirez doubled with two outs in the Boston ninth. But with the Fenway Park crowd rooting for a rally, Rafael Devers grounded out to end it (see full recap).

Happ 3-run blast helps Cubs stay red hot
CHICAGO -- Ian Happ hit a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Chicago Cubs won for the 14th time in 17 games, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 on Friday.

With a second straight NL Central title in hand and their sights set on another World Series championship, the Cubs held sluggers Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant out of the lineup. They also watched as Jose Quintana got knocked out in a four-run fifth. But they still found a way to pull it out.

Trailing 4-2 in the eighth, Tommy La Stella started the rally with a one-out single against Amir Garrett. Taylor Davis then singled to third off Michael Lorenzen (8-4). After Kyle Schwarber struck out, Happ drove his 24th homer to left.

Brian Duensing (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth. Justin Grimm worked the ninth for his first save in three chances.

Cincinnati's Joey Votto had two hits and an RBI, giving him 100 this season. He also reached base in his 30th straight game (see full recap).

MLB Notes: Red Sox put Dustin Pedroia back on DL with knee woes

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MLB Notes: Red Sox put Dustin Pedroia back on DL with knee woes

NEW YORK -- The Boston Red Sox have put star second baseman Dustin Pedroia back on the 10-day disabled list for the third time this season because of knee trouble.

The AL East leaders made the move before playing at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. The move was retroactive to Thursday, and left-hander Robby Scott was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Pedroia is out with inflammation. He has been hobbled by knee problems since being injured in a late slide by Manny Machado in Baltimore on April 21.

The 33-year-old Pedroia leads the team with a .303 batting average and a .378 on-base percentage. He has six home runs and 54 RBIs.

Pedroia tops major league second basemen with a .997 fielding percentage, making only one error this year. That miscue ended his Red Sox-record of 114 straight games without an error by a second baseman.

Pedroia was 0 for 4 as a designated hitter Wednesday at Tampa Bay in his first game since July 28. He also was on the DL from May 30 to June 9.

Scott was 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 41 games for Boston this year (see full story).

Yankees: RHP Tanaka placed on DL with shoulder inflammation
NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees have put right-hander Masahiro Tanaka on the 10-day disabled list because of shoulder inflammation.

The Yankees made the move Saturday before hosting the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox. Righty Giovanny Gallegos was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Tanaka issued a career-high five walks in four-plus innings at Toronto on Wednesday. After the game, Tanaka told the team he was ailing.

"We decided he needs a break," manager Joe Girardi said.

Girardi said there is nothing structurally wrong with Tanaka. Rather, he'll rest and strengthen his shoulder, and is expected back soon.

The former Japanese ace is 8-10 with a 4.92 ERA in 23 starts during an up-and-down season. He was scheduled to start Monday night when the New York Mets play at Yankee Stadium.

Girardi said Bryan Mitchell and Luis Cessa are candidates to pitch in Tanaka's place (see full story).

Yankees: LHP Montgomery OK after hit in head at batting practice
NEW YORK -- Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery is in uniform after being hit in the head by a flyball while signing autographs as the Boston Red Sox took batting practice.

The accident happened Saturday while the AL East-leading Red Sox warmed up at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees said the 6-foot-6 rookie was examined by the team's medical staff. The club said Montgomery was expected to make his start Sunday night against Boston ace Chris Sale.

Montgomery was in foul territory far down the right field line and behind a protective screen when the ball flew over and struck him. He got help leaving the field. It was not known which Red Sox player hit the ball.

Montgomery is 7-6 with a 4.05 ERA in 21 starts for New York since making his major league debut this season.

The lefty recently lost his rotation spot and was sent to the minors when the Yankees traded for starters Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia. He was recalled from Triple-A when CC Sabathia was put on the disabled list Friday.

Best of MLB: Masahiro Tanaka throws shutout; Yankees top Red Sox, 3-0

Best of MLB: Masahiro Tanaka throws shutout; Yankees top Red Sox, 3-0

BOSTON -- Masahiro Tanaka pitched a three-hitter to outduel Chris Sale and earn his first shutout since 2014, and the New York Yankees beat Boston 3-0 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory over the rival Red Sox.

Tanaka (3-1) struck out three and threw only 97 pitches for his fifth career complete game and his 10th win in 11 decisions dating to last season. Aaron Hicks had two hits and scored twice, and Matt Holliday had two hits and two RBIs.

Tanaka retired the last 14 batters he faced and only allowed one runner to reach second base.

Sale (1-2) allowed three runs -- two earned -- and eight hits in eight innings, striking out 10 and walking none. He joined Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Jon Lester as Red Sox pitchers with 10 or more strikeouts in four straight starts (see full recap).

Urias makes solid 2017 debut as Dodgers beat Giants in 10
SAN FRANCISCO -- Run-scoring singles by Andrew Toles and Justin Turner in the 10th inning led the Dodgers to a 5-1 victory Thursday against the San Francisco Giants after Los Angeles pitcher Julio Urias made a solid start in his 2017 debut.

The Dodgers, who had lost to the Giants in 10 innings the night before, loaded the bases with no outs in the 10th on two walks and an infield hit. Toles followed with a tie-breaking single, Kike Hernandez had a sacrifice fly and Turner extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI single. Chris Taylor drove in the fifth run with a bases-loaded walk.

Kenley Jansen (1-0) got the win, striking out the side in the ninth inning, as the Dodgers managed a split of the four-game series. The loser was Cory Gearrin (0-1), who walked the only batter he faced leading off the 10th inning.

Urias allowed one run in 5 2-3 innings after being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City before the game (see full recap).

Harper homers in 11-run 7th, Turner, Nats rout Rockies
DENVER -- Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer as part of an 11-run seventh inning, Trea Turner had another big game at Coors Field and the Washington Nationals routed the Colorado Rockies 16-5 on Thursday.

Turner proved to be a pitcher's nightmare throughout the four-game series. He hit for the cycle on Tuesday, finished a triple shy of another cycle Wednesday and added a double and two singles in the finale -- in all, he had nine extra-base hits, scored 10 runs and had 11 RBIs.

Washington finished 9-1 on its road trip, taking three of the last four at Colorado. What's more, the Nationals scored 11 or more runs in three straight games for the first time since July 1986 at Atlanta, when the team was the Montreal Expos.

Leading 4-2, the Nationals broke the game open in the seventh by sending 15 batters to the plate and pounding out eight hits, including Harper's eighth homer.

Gio Gonzalez (3-0) pitched in the seventh and also drove in two runs.

Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela (3-1) took the loss (see full recap).

Lindor's 2-run blast in 7th leads Indians past Astros
CLEVELAND -- Francisco Lindor hit a long two-run homer in the seventh inning to lift the Cleveland Indians over the Houston Astros 4-3 Thursday night.

Lindor's 456-foot homer off Chris Devenski (1-1) landed in the visitors bullpen about 50 feet beyond the center field wall.

Corey Kluber (3-1) struck out 10 and allowed three runs in seven innings as the defending AL champs took two of three from the AL West leaders.

Edwin Encarnacion and Abraham Almonte also homered for Cleveland, which has won seven of nine.

Marwin Gonzalez homered, and Evan Gattis and Alex Bregman each had an RBI single for the Astros, who have the second-best record in the AL (see full recap).