NEW YORK - Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka beat the New York Mets 4-0 Wednesday, becoming the first New York Yankee rookie since 1950 to begin his career 6-0 as a starter.
Not only did Tanaka complete his first shutout in Major League Baseball but he also got his first hit in the majors in the top of the ninth.
"Obviously I have good days and bad days, but overall, today I think was my most complete outing," Tanaka said through an interpreter.
Tanaka allowed just four hits while fanning eight batters Wednesday against the Mets, who blasted 21 runs over two games earlier this week at Yankee Stadium. He is the only pitcher in the majors at 6-0.
"I think you could argue that he's been as valuable as anyone on our team with what he's done so far this year," manager Joe Girardi said.
Hall of Famer Whitey Ford went 9-0 over 12 starts as a Yankee rookie in 1950.
Dating back to his time in Nippon Professional Baseball, Tanaka is unbeaten in his past 42 regular-season starts, going 34-0 since August 2012.
The Yankees gave Tanaka all the support at the plate he would need.
Yangervis Solarte and Mark Teixeira homered in the fourth and sixth innings to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. The Yankees added another run in the seventh.
Yankees catcher Brian McCann said Tanaka can strike out hitters several different ways.
"I could go on and on about what makes him good," McCann said. "He has so many pitches he just keeps you honest as a hitter.
"He can attack you every which way so he keeps you off balance. That is what he does."
Tanaka even had a productive night batting, bouncing a shot to centre field off Mets pitcher Jose Valverde.
He said he was pleased to help the Yankees snap a four-game losing skid.
"I knew we were in a little funk," Tanaka said. "And I also knew that we hadn't won a Subway Series in a while. So yes, I did want to go out there and get the win for us."
Tanaka joins Andy Pettitte as only the second Yankee to throw a shutout against the Mets. Pettitte threw one at Yankee Stadium in 2002.
The right hander also became the first Yankees rookie to throw a shutout since Orlando Hernandez in 1998 against the Boston Red Sox.
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse