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Apr 16, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Masahiro Tanaka blanks Cubs 3-0 in Game 1

Jason Hammel has started three games for the Cubs in 2014 and has three quality starts. Today he gave up only three earned runs in seven innings of work.

There’s quality – and then there’s quality.

Masahiro Tanaka (2-0) was as good as advertised if not better. Tanaka struck out 10 in eight innings of work and the Yankees got a 3-0 win in the front end of a day-night doubleheader in the Bronx. Hammel (2-1) pitched well but took the loss, giving up single runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings.

The day was all about Tanaka, however. He gave up only two hits – both bunt singles. The Cubs had nearly no shot against the Japanese import who has not lost a start since August of 2012, going back to his days in Japan. Shawn Kelley pitched the ninth inning to get the save for New York.

Carlos Beltran got the scoring underway with a first inning solo shot to the right field seats, his fourth of the season. Brian McCann scored on a Jacoby Ellsbury sacrifice fly in the fourth and Brett Gardner scored on a fielder’s choice ground out in the fifth. Ellsbury’s bat hit off of catcher John Baker‘s glove, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to take the result of the play vice the catcher’s interference because Gardner’s run scored. The way Tanaka was rolling, you could hardly blame him.

The right-hander was in control all day long. In 22 innings this season he has struck out 28 batters while only walking two. His splitter was his “money” pitch today – and if he continues to pitch the way he did today, the Yankees will get everything they paid $155 million for.

The Cubs will look to split the twin bill with a win tonight at the Stadium. Travis Wood (0-1, 2.92) will take the mound for the Cubs while Michael Pineda (1-1, 1.50) will take the ball for the Yankees. First pitch will be at 6:05 CST, the game will be broadcast both on WGN-TV and MLB Network. WGN radio AM 720 will carry the game, as well.

Tags: Chicago Cubs Jason Hammel Masahiro Tanaka

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