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Masahiro Tanaka allows three home runs in loss to Rangers

Ronald Guzman hits three of Rangers' four home runs.

Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees reacts after surrendering

Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees reacts after surrendering a home run in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Friday. . Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Before the Yankees left Boston after being swept by the Red Sox last weekend, Aaron Boone talked about how his team needed to “right the ship” this week.

Well, the S.S. Yankees was steaming along with four straight victories until Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Then they ran smack into a relentless Texas Rangers offense and fell short despite a spirited comeback attempt.

Rookie first baseman Ronald Guzman hit three home runs – two off Masahiro Tanaka and one off A.J. Cole – as the Rangers outslugged the Yankees, 12-7, before 45,198 at the Stadium. Texas built a 9-1 lead after 5½ innings.

Guzman, a 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic, hit solo shots in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings. The middle one ended a rocky evening for Tanaka (9-3), who allowed six runs in five innings-plus. It was Tanaka’s first loss since April 17.

“Just a few too many mistakes against a hot-hitting team right now,” Boone said.

Catcher Austin Romine said Tanaka’s signature splitter was “flat.”

Tanaka, through his translator, agreed: “I think the splitter was especially not good. Didn’t really have any good movement. I had an idea – I thought about it after I came off the mound . . . I have an idea what’s wrong so I’ll make an adjustment (before) my next start.”

The Yankees fell nine games behind AL East-leading Boston, which beat Baltimore, 19-12. They are 4 1⁄2 games ahead of Oakland (first wild card) and six games ahead of Seattle (second wild card).

After Tanaka and lefthander Mike Minor matched up with three scoreless innings apiece, Adrian Beltre (four RBIs) hit a two-run homer to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Tanaka had allowed one run in his previous 22 1/3 innings.

Guzman followed two batters later with a homer to make it 3-0. Elvis Andrus (4-for-5, three RBIs) had a two-run double in the fourth to give Texas a 5-0 lead.

Brett Gardner homered into the Yankees’ bullpen in the fifth to make it 5-1. It was his 10th of the season.

Boone let Tanaka start the sixth with A.J. Cole warming, and Guzman hit a shot that went over the bullpen and into the stands. Tanaka punched his fist into his glove after Guzman’s second homer. The righthander has allowed 22 home runs in 108 innings.

“You’re going to have ones like that every now and then,” Boone said. “I thought he battled, going back out there for the sixth just trying to save some pen for us a little bit. He’s been so sharp, especially with his secondary stuff, for a while now, and just not quite as sharp with that.”

Cole, who came in with a 1.69 ERA in 16 relief appearances, didn’t have it and wasn’t helped by his defense.

After retiring his first two batters, Cole walked No. 9 hitter Drew Robinson. Shin-Soo Choo doubled and Rougned Odor singled to right to drive in Robinson. Rightfielder Shane Robinson threw home on a fly – missing the cutoff man – and Romine fired to second to get Odor, who had rounded first. Didi Gregorius chased Odor back toward first, but his throw hit Odor for an error as a second run scored to make it 8-1. Andrus then singled home another run.

The Yankees closed to within 9-4 in the sixth on an RBI double by Miguel Andujar and a two-run single by Luke Voit.

Minor (9-6) went 5 2/3 innings and was charged with four runs.

In the seventh, Cole allowed Guzman’s third home run of the game and 12th of the season (and the rookie’s career). It was a drive off the top of the leftfield wall. Guzman is the third opposing player to hit three homers at the current Yankee Stadium, joining Detroit’s J.D. Martinez in 2015 and Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain in 2016.

Romine (3-for-4, three RBIs) hit his seventh home run in the bottom half to make it 10-5. Beltre had a two-run double off Chad Green in the eighth to push the lead to 12-5, but Romine answered with a two-run single in the bottom half and it was 12-7. And that was that.

Before the Yankees left Boston after being swept by the Red Sox last weekend, Aaron Boone talked about how his team needed to “right the ship” this week.

Well, the S.S. Yankees was steaming along with four straight victories until Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Then they ran smack into a relentless Texas Rangers offense and fell short despite a spirited comeback attempt.

Rookie first baseman Ronald Guzman hit three home runs – two off Masahiro Tanaka and one off A.J. Cole – as the Rangers outslugged the Yankees, 12-7, before 45,198 at the Stadium. Texas built a 9-1 lead after 5½ innings.

Guzman, a 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic, hit solo shots in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings. The middle one ended a rocky evening for Tanaka (9-3), who allowed six runs in five innings-plus.

After Tanaka and lefthander Mike Minor matched up with three scoreless innings apiece, Adrian Beltre (four RBIs) hit a two-run homer to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Tanaka had allowed one run in his previous 22 1/3 innings.

Guzman followed two batters later with a homer to make it 3-0. Elvis Andrus (4-for-5, three RBIs) had a two-run double in the fourth to give Texas a 5-0 lead.

Brett Gardner homered into the Yankees’ bullpen in the fifth to make it 5-1. It was his 10th of the season.

Boone let Tanaka start the sixth with A.J. Cole warming, and Guzman hit a shot that went over the bullpen and into the stands. Tanaka punched his fist into his glove after Guzman’s second homer. The righthander has allowed 22 home runs in 108 innings.

Cole, who came in with a 1.69 ERA in 16 relief appearances, didn’t have it and wasn’t helped by his defense.

After retiring his first two batters, Cole walked No. 9 hitter Drew Robinson. Shin-Soo Choo doubled and Rougned Odor singled to right to drive in Robinson. Rightfielder Shane Robinson threw home on a fly – missing the cutoff man – and Austin Romine fired to second to get Odor, who had rounded first. Didi Gregorius chased Odor back toward first, but his throw hit Odor for an error as a second run scored to make it 8-1. Andrus then singled home another run.

The Yankees closed to within 9-4 in the sixth on an RBI double by Miguel Andujar and a two-run single by Luke Voit. They avoided disaster earlier in the inning when Gregorius singled to right with Giancarlo Stanton on first. Stanton stopped at second, but Gregorius rounded first as if he were going for a double. Luckily for the Yankees, Choo didn’t notice and threw to second, allowing Gregorius to scamper back to first.

Minor (9-6) went 5 2/3 innings and was charged with four runs.

In the seventh, Cole allowed Guzman’s third home run of the game and 12th of the season (and the rookie’s career). It was a drive off the top of the leftfield wall.

Romine (3-for-4, three RBIs) hit his seventh home run in the bottom half to make it 10-5. Beltre had a two-run double off Chad Green in the eighth to push the lead to 12-5, but Romine answered with a two-run single in the bottom half and it was 12-7. And that was that.

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