(SportsNetwork.com) - Masahiro Tanaka will be on display yet again on Saturday as he and the New York Yankees take on the Minnesota Twins in the second part of a three-game series.
Tanaka has been lights out this season and looks like he will easily live up to the big contract he signed with New York in the offseason. In 10 starts he is 7-1 with an ERA of 2.29, which is the lowest in the American League. The right-hander has also racked up 79 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings of work and has a WHIP of 0.98.
Tanaka bounced back from his first loss of the season, when he let up four runs, three of which were earned, in six innings against the Cubs, by pitching a strong game against the White Sox last Sunday. In the contest he allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings, scattering five hits and striking out six.
With only 10 starts under his belt so far Tanaka is still seeing many clubs for the first time. Minnesota falls into that category.
Minnesota got the win in the series opener Friday night, securing a 6-1 victory behind a strong pitching effort from starter Ricky Nolasco. In his first career start against the Yankees, Nolasco surrendered just one run, while scattering seven hits and four walks over six innings.
"He commanded his fastball a little bit better tonight," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Nolasco.
Oswaldo Arcia led the offensive charge for the Twins, putting forth a 2-for-4 game with a home run and two runs scored. Trevor Plouffe also homered and drove in a pair of runs.
The win was just the second in the last eight games for the Twins, who are now 25-27 on the season.
Vidal Nuno took the loss for the Yankees on Friday. He allowed four runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, although he did strike out six batters. The loss was the second in the last three games for the Yankees, who are now 28-25 on the season.
"At times he was decent, but when he made a mistake, they hit it out of the park," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Nuno.
Kevin Correia will once again be out to improve on a disastrous start to the season when he makes the start for Minnesota on Saturday.
Correia has been abysmal this season, with an ERA of 6.34 and a record of just 2-6 in his 10 starts. In his most recent outing he managed to last seven innings, but gave up four runs on seven hits in a 7-2 loss to the Texas Rangers. It was the third time in the last four starts that he has taken a loss.
Saturday will mark Correia's first career start against the Yankees, with only other appearance coming in relief. He lasted two-thirds of an inning and allowed a hit and no runs in that outing.
This is the first series of the year between these teams. The Yankees won five of seven games a year ago.