|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, April 27, 2017
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts Attendance: 34,054
Tanaka outduels Sale and Yankees beat Red Sox 3-0
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By JIMMY GOLEN
BOSTON (AP) New York Yankees starters failed to record a complete game in all of 2016 - the first time in franchise history that's happened.
Masahiro Tanaka ended that slump this season before April was up.
Tanaka pitched a three-hitter to outduel Chris Sale and earn his first shutout since 2014, and the Yankees beat Boston 3-0 on Thursday night.
Tanaka (3-1) struck out three and threw only 97 pitches for his fifth career complete game - his first since Aug. 15, 2015, which was also the last for New York.
"I knew that we were facing a good pitcher in Chris Sale. Knew how important one run could be, so I tried to go out there and put up zeroes," said Tanaka, who earned his 10th win in his last 11 decisions dating to last season. "A lot of people thought Chris Sale had the upper hand, the way he was pitching."
Tanaka retired the last 14 batters he faced and only allowed one runner to reach second base as the Yankees earned their fifth straight victory over the rival Red Sox. Aaron Hicks had two hits and scored twice, and Matt Holliday had two hits and two RBIs.
Sale (1-2) nearly matched Tanaka most of the way, allowing only one unearned run over the first eight innings before giving up three straight singles to start the ninth, when the Yankees added two more runs.
"We had a chance going into the ninth," he said. "I just completely took the wind out of the sails."
Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said Tanaka spoke before the game of the challenge of facing Sale.
"He went toe to toe with Chris Sale," manager Joe Girardi agreed. "He knew he couldn't afford to give up a whole lot of runs. (There was) more pressure on him, in a sense, and he really rose to the occasion."
Sale stumbled in the fourth, when Hicks singled, took second on a groundout, third on a passed ball and scored on Holliday's sacrifice fly. The Yankees chased Sale when Hicks, Chase Headley and Holliday all singled to start the ninth and score another run.
In all, Sale was charged with two earned runs and eight hits in eight-plus innings, striking out 10 and walking none. He joined Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Jon Lester as Red Sox pitchers with 10 or more strikeouts in four straight starts.
The Red Sox have scored four runs total in Sale's five starts this season. Boston, which scored the most runs in baseball last season, has scored 13 total over its last seven games, losing five and getting shut out three times.
"I don't think our guys, on a day Chris is pitching, they feel like they've got to do more," manager John Farrell said. "We've had great ballgames pitched against us by quality starters. I don't think it's because Chris is on the mound."
Sale is 4-2 with a 1.31 ERA in eight career starts against Yankees. ... Jacoby Ellsbury of the Yankees did not reach base for the first time in 26 games stretching to the end of the 2016 season. ... The starters are the top two on the all-time list for strikeout-to-walk ratio since 1900 among pitchers with at least 500 innings pitched. Tanaka had a 4.94 K/BB ratio entering the game, and Sale's was 4.83. ... The game took 2 hours, 21 minutes, the shortest game between the teams since 1994.
Yankees: INF Didi Gregorious was the designated hitter in a 10:15 a.m. intrasquad game in Tampa. He got four at-bats: two groundouts and a lineout before homering to right off RHP Juan De Paula in his last at-bat.
Updated April 27, 2017