With an 0-2 count, he drove the ball about five feet from the top of the center field wall. It was ruled a triple after a spectator reached out and interfered with it. Ellsbury scored on a single by Derek Jeter, starting the Yankees toward their seventh win in nine games.
Lester (2-3) struggled after four outstanding outings, allowing seven runs in 4 2-3 innings.
“They put some good swings on him. Then when the miss-hit some balls, they found some holes. We didn’t help out defensively,” Farrell said. “Once again we’re digging ourselves a hole early in the game to play catch-up and that’s taken quite a bit of energy.”
Tanaka (3-0) allowed two runs on seven hits in 7 1-3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. His 35 strikeouts in his first four major league starts set a team record and he’s walked just two batters in 29 1-3 innings.
“The overall walks issued speaks to his strike-throwing ability. He forced us to swing the bat early in the count at times to try and get something going,” Farrell said. “He pitched a very good game tonight.”
The Yankees scored twice in the first and added two runs in the third, again before making an out, on consecutive doubles by Alfonso Soriano, Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann.
Lester had his only good inning in the fourth when he retired the side in order. He nearly escaped a jam in the fifth before an error by first baseman Napoli led to four unearned runs and an 8-2 Yankees lead.
Teixeira walked and took second on a McCann’s single. Lester struck out the next two batters then got Brian Roberts to hit a liner to Napoli. But the ball went off his glove and into right field, allowing Teixeira to score. Ellsbury then doubled in two runs. That was all for Lester as Chris Capuano came in and gave up Jeter’s RBI single.