ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — Tanaka Time has quickly turned into the Worst Time — especially at The Trop.
Masahiro Tanaka was shelled again on Saturday afternoon, giving up six earned runs on nine hits — including three homers — in three-plus innings in the Yankees’ 9-5 loss to the Rays. In his last two starts combined, Tanaka has surrendered 14 earned runs, 16 hits and seven homers in 4.2 innings.
At least Tanaka was better here on Saturday than he was on Opening Day (2.2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER).
Nevertheless, Tanaka’s nightmarish stretch continues. He’s tried to make adjustments with no results. His slider and splitter remain inconsistent. On Saturday, he moved from the first-base side of the rubber to the third-base side of the rubber. It didn’t matter. He claims he’s healthy, so there’s that. His ERA stands at 6.56.
Corey Dickerson blasted two homers off Tanaka — including a leadoff solo shot and a fourth-inning, three-run bomb that traveled 442 feet. Yankee killer Evan Longoria added a solo blast of his own in the third.
Diaper Dandies Aaron Judge (No. 15) and Gary Sanchez (No. 4) both homered in front of noted Rays fan Dick Vitale, who was sitting in a suite for the game. Joe Girardi and Larry Rothschild were both ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the fifth inning. Matt Andriese was ejected in the sixth for hitting Judge — who also homered off him in his first MLB at-bat — as retribution for Tommy Layne hitting Dickerson.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Jesus Sucre foolishly strayed too far off second with the bases loaded and two outs in the second, and Gary Sanchez gunned him down to end the inning. It seems like Sanchez’s sore neck felt a lot better.
The start of the fourth inning. No. 8 hitter Daniel Robertson led off with a double. Masahiro Tanaka struck out No. 9 hitter Jesus Sucre with a splitter, but Gary Sanchez couldn’t block it, and Sucre reached. Corey Dickerson followed with the three-run bomb, making it 6-3 Rays.
STAR OF THE GAME
Corey Dickerson, who now has 11 homers out of the No. 1 hole.
STAT OF THE GAME
Masahiro Tanaka has a 12.57 ERA with Gary Sanchez catching him and a 2.51 ERA with Austin Romine catching him this season. The Rays are 71-67 against the Yankees since 2010.
Evan Longoria, of course. He hasn’t been great this season — except when he’s facing the Bronx Bombers.
MIA: Masahiro Tanaka, who has three-years, $67 million remaining on his contract if he doesn’t opt out at season’s end.
Sunday at Tampa Bay, 1:10 p.m. CC Sabathia (3-2, 4.93 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (3-2, 3.70)