With Tanaka dealing, Yankees slam Rays

With Tanaka dealing, Yankees slam Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Masahiro Tanaka made strides toward recapturing his dominant form of a season ago, Brian McCann legged out a two-run triple, and Chris Young hit a grand slam late, leading the Yankees to a 9-0 victory over the Rays on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Tanaka was unsatisfied with his first two starts of the season, but the right-hander was on point this time, handcuffing Tampa Bay's lineup to two hits over seven innings. Tanaka retired 15 straight after a leadoff single in the first, ringing up eight strikeouts without a walk.

"I'm just trying to go out there and basically try to do the best, like I always do," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "You make those adjustments between starts, and I think I was able to adjust well and get good results today."

McCann's blow off the top of the right-field wall in the sixth broke open the pitchers' duel between Tanaka and the Rays' Jake Odorizzi, who was charged with three runs and five hits over six-plus innings. The Yankees blew the game open with seven runs in the seventh, highlighted by Young's third career grand slam.

"It's a great feeling," Young said. "You get guys out there, and sooner or later one of us will come through. It was nice to have a game like this."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Mac attack: McCann stroked hits in all three at-bats against Odorizzi, including the triple that struck the very top of the right-field wall and shot back toward the infield. McCann came into the evening 5-for-10 lifetime vs. Odorizzi, with two homers. It marked the slow-footed McCann's fourth triple in 11 big league seasons.

"As soon as I hit second, I was going three," McCann said. "When you've got speed, you don't have stop signs."

McCann's two-run triple

Free passes costly: With one out in the sixth inning, Odorizzi suddenly lost the command that had enabled him to retire 13 of the previous 14 hitters. The right-hander issued back-to-back walks to Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez, both of whom scored on McCann's two-out triple. More >

"I think throughout anybody's given start, you do hit a two- or three-batter glitch in the game where you're not as sharp as you'd like to be," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "But at the same time, [Odorizzi] was facing some pretty good hitters, and it's a 0-0 ballgame, so he's got be careful with what he's doing."

Tanaka time: Tanaka's effort marked his most dominant showing of the young season, retiring a string of 15 consecutive batters following David DeJesus' single to lead off the first inning, including three straight looking strikeouts through one stretch. Brandon Guyer finally broke the streak with a double leading off the sixth, but Tanaka stranded him at second base by retiring the next three batters. More >

"I thought he had all his pitches tonight, which was the big difference," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He located his fastball, he elevated it as well, he used his curveball, his slider and his split really effectively, and that's the difference. When you have all your weapons, you usually are going to go deeper into the game."

Tanaka's seven shutout frames

Forever Young: Young connected for his third career grand slam in the seventh inning, a drive to left field off Grant Balfour that put the Yankees up by nine runs. It was Young's first grand slam since April 9, 2010, when he was playing for the D-backs against the Pirates. The drive highlighted an inning in which the Yankees sent 12 men to the plate and scored seven runs on five hits.

"That's a huge hit, too. That just blows that game wide open," Girardi said. "He's played well wherever we've put him."

QUOTABLE
"I guess he likes me." -- Odorizzi, when asked about McCann's success against him (8-for-13, double, triple, two home runs and six RBIs) over the past two seasons

IN REVIEW
The Rays are now 0-for-6 in replay challenges this season after a safe call at the plate by umpire Bob Davidson was confirmed in the seventh inning. Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. caught Gregorio Petit's fly ball and fired a strike to catcher Rene Rivera as Chase Headley was tagging from third. The play was close, but Headley avoided the tag and slid home with the Yankees' third run of the night.

"It looked from our angle that he was safe," Cash said. "At that time in the game, we just wanted to confirm it."

Rays challenge call at home

WHAT'S NEXT
Yankees: Right-hander Michael Pineda (1-0, 5.11 ERA) will make his third start of the season on Sunday as the Yankees conclude their three-game series with the Rays at Tropicana Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET. Pineda is 1-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four career starts against Tampa Bay.

Rays: Matt Andriese (0-0, 3.86 ERA) will take the ball on Sunday. The rookie right-hander made the first start of his Major League career on Tuesday, allowing two runs in 3 2/3 innings as the Rays claimed a 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.