MILWAUKEE -- A good start to this weekend in Beer City, and the final three games of this six-game road trip, as the New York Yankees beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 at Miller Park on the basis of one big inning and a not-great-but-good-enough start from Masahiro Tanaka.
Tale of two games: For the first five innings, Tanaka was dominant, allowing just two singles and a walk and striking out five. But he unraveled briefly in the sixth and could not make it through the seventh, giving way to Adam Warren. Tanaka's final line was just so-so -- 6 1/3 innings, seven hits, two earned runs, one walk, seven strikeouts -- but good enough to earn his fifth win and keep intact his record of not losing a regular-season game, on two continents, since 2012.
Fighting Hiro: Tanaka battled through a difficult sixth inning in which he allowed two runs on three straight hits -- a pair of doubles and a single -- but battled back impressively after falling behind 3-0 to Aramis Ramirez. Tanaka's next seven pitches were strikes, the first six fouled off and the last one rapped straight to Derek Jeter for a double play. Tanaka then struck out Mark Reynolds looking at a 3-2 slider to end the inning.
Ta-walk-a: Tanaka had come into the game with an outstanding walks-to-strikeouts ratio, having walked just six batters in 42 2/3 innings while striking out 51. He walked Carlos Gomez, the first batter he faced, in this game. But it did not cost him. Gomez stole second and was sacrificed to third before Tanaka got Jonathan Lucroy to pop out to the infield and struck out Ramirez to end the inning.
Good thing he can pitch: Earlier in the week, Tanaka had expressed trepidation about having to hit, and with good reason -- he can't. Tanaka struck out in each of his three at-bats, and never came close to touching the ball with any of his four swings.
True Yangy: In the 100th at-bat of his big-league career, Yangervis Solarte drove a Yovani Gallardo pitch over the right-field fence with two men on to give the Yankees a 3-0 fourth-inning lead. Solarte, a rookie, leads all of his much more experienced -- and highly-paid teammates -- in RBIs (18), and all but Ichiro Suzuki in OBP (.391). The glass slipper still fits.
Captain Cool: A fan ran onto the field in the bottom of the sixth and headed straight for Jeter, who stood motionless as the imposter approached and appeared to be speaking to him. Security guards steamrolled the man from behind. Can't wait to hear what Jeter said to the guy, or what he was thinking as the man approached.
McClutch: The Yankees escaped a first-and-third, one-out seventh-inning jam when Brian McCann threw out Logan Schafer trying to steal second to complete a strikeout, throw-out double play. Warren, in relief of Tanaka, struck out pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay, but had Schafer been safe, Jean Segura would likely have scored from third to cut the Yankees' lead to 4-3.
Crucial sequence: The Yankees holding the Brewers scoreless in the seventh, and then tacking on a run in the top of the eighth, was perhaps the most important stretch of the game. Instead of leading 4-3, or worse, heading into the bottom of the eighth, it was 5-2 -- huge difference.
GoGo Gomez: Gomez, McCann's nemesis from last year, was nearly the Yankees' nemesis in this game, with two hits (single, double), a walk, a stolen base, a run, and a near homer when his eighth-inning drive forced Jacoby Ellsbury to the wall in center field.
Leaving a Mark: Reynolds, the former Yankee, belted a solo homer off David Robertson in the ninth to account for the Brewers' final run.
What's next: CC Sabathia's favorite day of the season -- the day he gets to hit. He also has to pitch, and hopefully better than he did in his last outing, when he allowed five runs on 10 hits to the Angels in 3 2/3 innings. Sabathia (3-4, 5.75) will be opposed by righty Kyle Lohse (4-1, 2.72), first pitch at 7:10 p.m.