Tanaka's 3-hitter, Romine's 2 RBIs lead Yanks over Rays 4-0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — It was a good night for New York's bullpen.
First, Masahiro Tanaka gave the Yankees relievers a breather. Then the front office added reinforcements.
Tanaka pitched a three-hitter, Austin Romine drove in two runs as the replacement for again-injured catcher Gary Sanchez and the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 on Tuesday night.
"It's satisfying to go nine innings," Tanaka said through a translator. "But, the season continues and we still have a lot more games to play. I'll allow myself to celebrate tonight and then I'm back to business tomorrow."
The Yankees announced after the game they had acquired left-hander Zach Britton from the rebuilding Baltimore Orioles for three prospects. Britton is eligible to become a free agent after this season, a timely summer rental for the Yankees in their pursuit of first-place Boston in the AL East.
"If you can add good players to your team, obviously that's a good thing," Boone said.
Tanaka (8-2) retired his first 12 batters before C.J. Cron singled leading off the fifth. He struck out nine and walked one, improving to 6-0 on the road.
It was the sixth major league complete game and third shutout for Tanaka, his first complete game since a three-hit shutout at Boston on April 27 last year.
"Really commanded how he wanted to," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "Really perfect execution all night."
Tanaka walked Ji-Man Choi after Cron's fifth-inning hit but escaped damage by striking out Daniel Robertson and getting speedy Mallex Smith to hit into a 3-6-1 double play.
"We just ran into a dude who had an unreal night," Rays left fielder Jake Bauers said.
The Yankees trail Boston by five games.
Romine hit a run-scoring groundout in the fifth inning and a sacrifice fly during the seventh.
Sanchez was put back on the 10-day disabled list before the game because of a strained right groin, a day after failing to hustle on a pair of key plays in a 7-6 loss to Tampa Bay. Sanchez missed 20 games from June 25 to July 19 because of the groin injury.
New York is just 14-13 in its last 27 games, a stretch that began Tampa Bay took a three-game series from New York June 22-24.
Yankees second baseman Brandon Drury left in fifth with a bruised left hand. He was hit by a Yonny Chirinos pitch, initially stayed in the game but departed after advancing to third on Neil Walker's single. The Yankees said X-rays were negative and he is day to day.
Chirinos (0-2), recalled from Triple-A Durham to fill-in for injured AL All-Star Blake Snell, allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. Snell has left shoulder fatigue, and the Rays hope he will miss just one start.
"Yonny got us much deeper into the ballgame than we were anticipating before the game started," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It was huge for the bullpen."
New York got an RBI grounder from Didi Gregorius in the first and Walker added a run-scoring in the ninth.
Yankees: 2B Gleyber Torres (right hip strain) went 0 for 2 with a walk during a five-inning stint as the DH in his third game with Class A Tampa and is expected to be activated from the 10-day DL Wednesday. ... After the game, RHP Giovanny Gallegos was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. ... CF Aaron Hicks got the day off after getting banged up sliding into second base Monday.
Rays: C Wilson Ramos (left hamstring strain) could be back in early August. ... Reliever Jonny Venters (right hamstring strain) allowed two hits, a walk and struck out three over a scoreless inning for Class A Charlotte in what may have been his final rehab outing.
LET'S MAKE A DEAL
Cash expects moves ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
"I would say in all honestly we're going to be very active," Cash said. "I know there's teams calling non-stop." Starting pitchers Chris Archer and Nathan Eovaldi, closer Sergio Romo, SS Adeiny Hechavarria and Ramos have all been scouted by playoff contenders.
Eovaldi (3-4) and Yankees RHP Luis Cessa (1-1) are Wednesday's scheduled starters.