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MLB: Tanaka tagged with fourth loss as Rays beat Yankees 3-1

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium, on Aug. 16, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (Kyodo) -- Masahiro Tanaka overcame a rough start Thursday to throw six innings of two-run ball but picked up the loss as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 3-1.

    Tanaka (9-4) looked set for an early shower after allowing four consecutive hits and two runs against his first four batters, but the 29-year-old right-hander pulled things together and was solid the rest of the way.

    "I adjusted my direction and plan of attack after the second inning. I told myself I needed to be more aggressive," Tanaka said.

    The Japanese ace finished with six strikeouts and no walks, while allowing nine hits. He did not get any help from his offense, however, with the Yankees unable to score until the bottom of the eighth, when Giancarlo Stanton doubled to bring home Aaron Hicks.

    Blake Snell (14-5) got the win after striking out six and allowing a pair of hits over five innings.

    Joey Wendle and Mallex Smith scored for the visitors in the first inning, while Smith added the Rays' third run in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Bauers.

    The loss leaves the second-place Yankees 10.5 games adrift of the American League East-leading Boston Red Sox. They hold a three-game advantage over the Oakland Athletics in the AL wild card race.

    In Arlington, Texas, Shohei Ohtani drove in one run and scored another for the Los Angeles Angels in an 8-6 loss to the Texas Rangers.

    Ohtani hit a ground-ball single off Rangers starter Ariel Jurado in the top of the first, bringing home David Fletcher and moving Justin Upton to second.

    The Japanese rookie then scored on a double by next man up Francisco Arcia. Ohtani struck out in his two other at-bats.

    The Angels finished the first inning with a 5-2 lead and stayed ahead until the bottom of the eighth, when the Rangers rallied for a four-run inning.

    Matt Moore (2-6) got the win, while Justin Anderson (3-3) incurred the loss.

    Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish, meanwhile, is set to make his return to the mound. Manager Joe Maddon said Japanese ace Darvish, who hasn't pitched a game since May 20 because of right triceps tendonitis, will throw in a minor league game in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

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