May 31, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

This Week In Yankees Baseball: Masahiro Tanaka Is Back On Track

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Well, hello there everybody. Welcome to This Week In Yankees’ Baseball. The Yankees are still battling the pesky Blue Jays for the top spot in the American League East.

Chase Whitley gave the Boys from The Bronx another solid outing on Monday. And Brian Roberts brought in two runs in the 12th to lift the Yanks to the 6-4 win over the Cardinals. After Jacoby Ellsbury stole second and Brian McCann got hit by a pitch, Yangervis Solarte bunted them over.

There was a time when they called that Billy Ball, but it must be Joey Ball now. That set the stage for Roberts’ big hit. Whitley quietly has notched a very respectable ERA of 2.57.

The next day, David Phelps took the mound with the intent of shining in front of his home town friends. He grew up just 15 minutes from Busch Stadium. But the Cards gave him a rude welcome, scoring four runs in the 4th and five altogether in Phelps’ six innings. The total turned out not to matter, as the Yanks gave him zero support in the 6-0 loss.

But the bats did wake up on Wednesday for Hiroki Kuroda. The Yankees won 7-4 as he held St. Louis to three runs, pitching into the sixth. Once again, John Ryan Murphy came through in the clutch, knocking in two runs.

So that wrapped it up in St. Louis and the Yankees headed back home to face the Twins. But Vidal Nuno struggled, giving up three home runs in the 6-1 loss. In a rare base running mistake, Derek Jeter was caught in no-man’s land when Brett Gardner was given the stop sign at third base. Jeter had continued running, assuming that there would be a play at the plate.

But the Bombers bounced back on Saturday behind Masahiro Tanaka. A home run by Solarte, and a double by McCann were the big blows, and that was all Tanaka needed as he coasted to his eighth win in nine decisions.

Yankees’ fans continue to hold their breath as Mark Teixeira is having wrist pain again. Follow the reports on Yanks Go Yard to keep up with Tex’s status.

So the Yankees finished the week in second place, 2.5 games behind the Blue Jays, who have hit the stride that many expected them to last season. So make some lemonade and get ready for an exciting summer. We have a pennant race in the making.

How about that!

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