Japanese showdown at the Yankee Stadium

Tanaka vs Ohtani!

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani | AFP | Getty Images

In the highly anticipated showdown between fellow countrymen Masahiro Tanaka and Shohei Ohtani, the Yankees' right-hander came out on top, spinning a solid effort that led New York to a 3-1 victory over the Angels on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

In their first meeting since playing against each other in Japan in 2013, Ohtani worked a 3-2 count before striking out on a low-and-away, 85.6-mph splitter. After waiting more than an hour between at-bats, Ohtani walked on five pitches in the top of the fourth before Tanaka won the final matchup in the sixth, recording another strikeout on an 88.7-mph splitter.


The Yankees' offense took advantage of Angels starter Garrett Richards' early struggles in the third inning. After allowing a single to Aaron Judge to start the inning, the right-hander walked Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius to load the bases. A free pass to Aaron Hicks put the first run on the board, chasing Richards.

Jose Alvarez replaced Richards and hit Greg Bird on the elbow pad to push another Yankees run across. Miguel Andujar grounded into a fielder's choice at second base that scored the Yankees' final run of the afternoon.


Ohtani remains hitless in his career against the Yankees' starter. Tanaka faced him during his final season in Japan, with Ohtani going 0-for-11 with six strikeouts, one walk and one hit by pitch.

 Mandy Bell