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Tanaka cools Cubs' bats in Yankees' 3-0 win

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 3:44 p.m. CDT
Caption
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka delivers in the first inning of the first game of an interleague baseball doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs at Yankee Stadium in New York, Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

NEW YORK (AP) — Masahiro Tanaka allowed two bunt hits in eight dominant innings on a frigid Monday, Carlos Beltran homered for the third straight game and New York welcomed the Chicago Cubs to the current Yankee Stadium with a 3-0 victory in the opener of Monday's day-night doubleheader.

The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander struck out 10 for his second straight start, this time while wearing three-quarter sleeves on a 43-degree day that felt much colder because of a brisk wind. Tanaka (2-0) gave up a replay-aided hit to Junior Lake in the second inning and Anthony Rizzo pushed a bunt toward a vacated third base with a shifted infield leading off the seventh.

Tanaka threw 107 pitches, and Shawn Kelley allowed a single to Rizzo as he finished the three-hitter for his fourth save.

Dean Anna had a sacrifice fly and Jacoby Ellsbury added an RBI tap-out against Jason Hammel (2-1) in Chicago's first regular-season game in the ballpark, which opened in 2009.

The Cubs have yet to win in the Bronx. They were swept in the 1932 and '38 World Series and lost all three-games in 2005, their only interleague series in New York.

With Tuesday's rainout postponing Jackie Robinson Day festivities, the Yankees planned to unveil a plaque honoring Nelson Mandela before the nightcap. Players from both teams were to wear No. 42, and Michael Pineda was set to make his first start for New York since he was spotted with a mysterious brown substance on his hand Thursday against Boston. Travis Wood was slated to start for Chicago.

After an overnight storm, the grounds crew used blowers to melt the ice on the tarp before removing the covering from the infield. Snow still covered the grass in right field while the Cubs took batting practice, and many players wore ski caps.

But it wasn't too cold for Beltran. He connected on a 1-1 changeup from Hammel with one out in the first. Anna started again at shortstop for Derek Jeter and drove in his run with a fly to left field in the fourth. Jeter missed three games with a tight quadriceps but manager Joe Girardi said the captain would start the second game.

The Yankees added a run in the fifth when Junior Lake lost Brett Gardner's liner to left in the sun for a double. After Gardner advanced on Beltran's groundout, Ellsbury's bat made contact with catcher John Baker's glove before dunking a ball in front of the mound. Catcher's interference was called but under rule 6.08 (c), the Yankees had the choice to reject the interference call — it would have put runners at the corners — and take the play as it unfolded on the field — with Gardner scoring and Ellsbury tagged out by Hammel.

Tanaka gave up six runs — five earned — in his first two starts combined, all before the third inning was over. This time he was sharp from the start. He allowed just his second walk of the season and has 28 strikeouts in 22 innings and a 2.05 ERA.

Lake bunted toward the third base side and Tanaka fielded it cleanly. Initially, first base umpire Manny Gonzalez called Lake out but Cubs manager Rick Renteria requested a challenge and the call was overturned.

Hammel was nearly as good. He yielded five hits and three runs, striking out five.

NOTES: Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira (right hamstring) is working out in Tampa, Fla. He is eligible to come off the DL Sunday. ... The Cubs have played in 122 ballparks. ... The Yankees swept two exhibition games from the Cubs at the new stadium before opening day in '09. ... Renteria asked for a second review on a close play at first base in the seventh but the out call stood.

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