Masahiro Tanaka finally flourished under the sun, Starlin Castro had four hits and the New York Yankees took advantage of a record five errors by the Seattle Mariners in the first inning on the way to a 10-1 victory on Sunday.
Mariners shortstop Jean Segura committed three early miscues – two on one play. Third baseman Kyle Seager and left fielder Ben Gamel also botched balls as the Yankees scored six runs, one earned, in the first inning against starter Andrew Albers (2-1).
That made it an unusually easy afternoon for Tanaka (10-10), who entered 0-6 with an 11.81 ERA in seven starts during the day this season. He struck out 10 and walked one in his 100th major league start. The right-hander has won both outings since a brief stint on the disabled list due to shoulder inflammation, pitching seven innings each time.
New York took two of three in the series and moved within 2 1/2 games of first-place Boston in the AL East after Baltimore completed a three-game sweep at Fenway Park with a 2-1 victory.
Tanaka, who gave up one run and six hits, improved to 6-0 in seven career starts against the Mariners. He is 9-4 with a 3.24 ERA in 17 games at night this season.
Seattle's five errors were the most in an inning in club history. The previous major league team to make five errors in one inning was the 1977 Chicago Cubs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Mariners played clean defence the rest of the day but still matched the season high for errors by a big league team in one game this year. Boston made five errors Friday against Baltimore, and Milwaukee did it July 7 at Yankee Stadium.
Seattle's franchise record is seven errors against the Brewers on June 25, 1978, a game the Mariners won.
Aided by Aaron Hicks' error in left field, the Mariners scored in the first on Nelson Cruz's run-scoring double. With two runners in scoring position, Tanaka struck out Seager and retired Mitch Haniger to end the inning.
In the bottom half, a string of Seattle miscues let the Yankees keep racing around the bases.
Gamel began the embarrassing sequence when he overcharged the ball on Gary Sanchez's RBI single, allowing the All-Star catcher to reach second.
After a walk to Aaron Judge, the Yankees loaded the bases when Segura was charged with his first error after failing to catch Didi Gregorius' pop up as three players converged in shallow left-centre. Seager followed that with his own error, fumbling Chase Headley's grounder as New York took a 2-1 lead.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run double, and Segura made two more errors on the play. First, when he mishandled Gamel's throw, allowing Headley to score, and then when his errant throw to the plate skipped past catcher Mike Zunino, which sent Ellsbury to third.
Castro finished 4 for 4 and Ronald Torreyes added three of New York's 15 hits. Pinch-hitter Greg Bird had a two-run single in the seventh.
Albers was charged with eight runs – three earned – and 11 hits in five-plus innings.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected in the third by second base umpire Mike Everitt after arguing that Segura ran out of the baseline and interfered with Headley's throw from first.
Mariners 2B Robinson Cano (left hamstring) returned to the starting lineup after appearing as a pinch hitter the previous two days.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (0-1, 6.23 ERA) starts at Baltimore on Monday in the opener of a three-game series, Seattle's last stop during its 14-day, 12-game trip.
Yankees: In a matchup of All-Star pitchers, New York RHP Luis Severino (11-5, 3.10 ERA) faces Cleveland ace Corey Kluber (12-4, 2.65) when the teams begin a three-game series Monday night at Yankee Stadium. The Indians, who lead the AL Central, just outscored Kansas 20-0 in a three-game sweep and haven't given up a run in 28 innings.
ALL the MLB results:
Washington Nationals 5-4 New York Mets
New York Yankees 10-1 Seattle Mariners
Toronto Blue Jays 2-7 Minnesota Twins
Cincinnati Reds 2-5 Pittsburgh Pirates
Cleveland Indians 12-0 Kansas City Royals
Miami Marlins 6-2 San Diego Padres
Atlanta Braves 0-3 Colorado Rockies
Boston Red Sox 1-2 Baltimore Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies 6-3 Chicago Cubs
Washington Nationals 5-6 New York Mets
Chicago White Sox 7-1 Detroit Tigers
St.Louis Cardinals 2-3 Tampa Bay Rays
Los Angeles Angels 5-7 Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics 8-3 Texas Rangers
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-0 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers 2-3 Milwaukee Brewers