Forget cold, Cubs cooled by Tanaka in 3-0 loss

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm •  Published: April 16, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Forget the cold. The Chicago Cubs faced a much more difficult challenge in Masahiro Tanaka.

The Cubs managed two bunt singles, one aided by replay, and struck out 10 times against the Japanese rookie in losing 3-0 to New York in the opener of a split doubleheader Wednesday.

"His split-finger is devastating, a lot of bad swings on that and not good contact either, even when guys were putting it in play," Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel (2-1) said. "Hitters will tell you how good you are, and today he was pretty good."

Junior Lake bunted toward the third base side with one out in the second, and Tanaka fielded it cleanly. Initially, first base umpire Manny Gonzalez called Lake out but Cubs manager Rick Renteria requested a challenge and the call was overturned.

"The challenge was actually more our eyes told us he was safe. I don't know how much a challenge it was," Renteria said. "It was more a consensus of the eyes that he was safe."

Chicago didn't reach base again until Anthony Rizzo pushed a bunt toward a vacated third base with a shifted infield leading off the seventh,

The 25-year-old Tanka (2-0), wearing three-quarter sleeves on a 43-degree day that felt much colder because of a brisk wind, threw 107 pitches. Shawn Kelley allowed a single to Rizzo as he finished the three-hitter for his fourth save and Chicago's third straight loss.

"That split is not something you want to sit on. It's not something you're going to be able to handle," Renteria said. "But, as it was coming out of the hand, as the guys were coming in, they were saying, 'Gosh, it looks like a fastball. It ends up diving.'"

Dean Anna had a sacrifice fly and Jacoby Ellsbury added an RBI tap-out against Hammel in Chicago's first regular-season game in the ballpark, which opened in 2009.

The Cubs have yet to win in the Bronx. They were swept in the 1932 and '38 World Series and lost all three-games in 2005, their only interleague series in New York.

With Tuesday's rainout postponing Jackie Robinson Day festivities, the Yankees planned to unveil a plaque honoring Nelson Mandela before the nightcap. Players from both teams were to wear No. 42, and Michael Pineda was set to make his first start for New York since he was spotted with a mysterious brown substance on his hand Thursday against Boston. Travis Wood was slated to start for Chicago.

After an overnight storm, the grounds crew used blowers to melt the ice on the tarp before removing the covering from the infield. Snow still covered the grass in right field while the Cubs took batting practice, and many players wore ski caps.



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