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MLB: Yankees waste Tanaka's strong effort in loss to Tigers

Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees pitches against the Detroit Tigers in New York on April 2, 2019. (Kyodo)

NEW YORK (Kyodo) -- Masahiro Tanaka pitched 6-2/3 effective innings, but the Japanese right-hander was hurt by a lack of run support in the New York Yankees' 3-1 defeat to the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday evening.

Tanaka, who threw on four days of rest after winning his opening-day start, scattered eight hits but limited the damage to a lone run in the sixth, when he allowed back-to-back doubles to Jeimer Candelario and John Hicks that tied the game at 1-all.

Tanaka overcame an early scare in the first and fourth innings, both times escaping the jam with runners on the corners, and had command of his slider-dominant pitches as he struck out seven and walked none at Yankee Stadium.

"Even in high-leverage situations I was able to stay focused," said Tanaka, who was not involved in the decision.

"I was looking for an early-count strike. I wanted to get ahead in the count and be aggressive with my pitches," he said.

He threw 87 pitches, 63 for strikes, and was relieved by Adam Ottavino with two outs in the seventh.

In the top of the ninth, Dustin Peterson doubled off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman (0-1) for the go-ahead run, and one out later Jordy Mercer added a run-scoring single for insurance. It was the first major league hit for Peterson, the Tigers' rookie outfielder.

Joe Jimenez (1-0) worked a hitless eighth for the win.

The Yankees' only run came off Tigers starter Jordan Zimmerman in the second inning when Clint Frazier hit a sacrifice fly after Mike Tauchman doubled for his first hit with New York. The Yankees acquired Tauchman from the Colorado Rockies last month.

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