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MLB: Tanaka picks up 6th win, Kikuchi faces Ohtani for 2nd time

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka applauds his third baseman after a play during the sixth inning in a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, on July 14, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (Kyodo) --Masahiro Tanaka claimed his sixth win of the season and 70th of his major league career on Sunday in a 4-2 New York Yankees' victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tanaka (6-5) allowed two solo homers in the fifth to tie the game at Yankee Stadium, but Gio Urshela slid home on a wild pitch in the bottom of the inning to reclaim the host's lead. The Japanese starter struck out five over six innings without issuing a walk.

"Among my recent starts, I think it was a good game overall," said Tanaka, who became the first Japanese pitcher to win an All-Star game on Tuesday.

"My splitter was good, and I worked a lot of swinging strikes with the fastball. We had a close contest on Saturday, so it's big for the team to rebound here and collect a win."

At Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Seattle Mariners starter Yusei Kikuchi had his second major-league meeting with compatriot Shohei Ohtani, whose Los Angeles Angels claimed a 6-3 win over the visitors.

Kikuchi, who is 4-6 with a 5.01 ERA in his rookie season, gave up three runs and four walks pitching into the fifth and did not factor in the decision.

"My fastball felt good. Somehow I stuck it out, not like it went in my previous games against the Angels," said Kikuchi, who has surrendered 20 runs, 19 earned, in 15-2/3 innings against the Halos.

Ohtani drew a walk from Kikuchi in the first, but the Mariners lefty fanned the two-way star with a slider in the third. The Angels' designated hitter drove in a tying run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth, and singled in the seventh but was left on base.

Los Angeles rookie Matt Thaiss hit his first career home run, a three-run go-ahead blast in the eighth, to complete the Angels' three-game sweep.

"We couldn't get many hits (off Kikuchi), but we scored some runs on walks," Ohtani said. "The flow of the game wasn't bad. Our team is in good shape. It's important to rally in the second half of the game and win like we did today."

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