CINCINNATI (AP) — The Yankees know how to pull an all-nighter and come up aces.
Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday homered, Masahiro Tanaka won his fifth consecutive start and New York shook off a long game and a short night’s sleep, beating the Cincinnati Reds 10-4 on Monday night for its sixth victory in a row.
The Yankees have the best record in the majors at 21-9 and are 12 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2015 season.
Better yet, they were awake to enjoy all of it.
“Guys were really fatigued,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That shows you something about these guys.”
Their biggest challenge was overcoming the strain from an 18-inning, 5-4 win at Wrigley Field early Monday. The Yankees didn’t land in the Cincinnati area until 5:08 a.m., and the sun was up when some of them finally fell asleep. Players sipped caffeinated drinks and yawned in the clubhouse pregame.
The best-rested Yankee was Tanaka (5-1), who arrived in Cincinnati on Sunday night and watched that marathon game on television from his hotel room.
Well, most of it.
“I watched all the way until the top of the 18th,” Tanaka said through a translator. “I saw my team score that run but in the bottom of the 18th, I fell asleep.”
Tanaka gave them what they needed after their all-nighter, going seven innings on 112 pitches to rest the bullpen. He allowed four runs — Joey Votto drove in three with a single and a homer — while ending the Reds’ five-game winning streak.
“That’s a big boost for them,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “They play 18 innings, and then their starter goes seven. That puts them in a lot better shape for tomorrow.”
Gary Sanchez got the Yankees going with his bases-loaded single in the first off Rookie Davis (1-2), a former Yankees prospect. Didi Gregorius also drove in a pair off Davis, who went to the Reds in the trade for closer Aroldis Chapman after the 2015 season.
Gardner and Holliday connected in the eighth inning as the Yankees pulled away.
There were some sloppy moments for the AL East leaders. The Yankees committed a pair of errors in the infield and had a runner thrown out at second base while tagging on a flyout.
Girardi gave Aaron Judge and Starlin Castro a day out of the starting lineup, and he’ll give a couple more players some rest on Tuesday to help them fully recover from the 6-hour, 5-minute game in Chicago.
Judge was looking forward to facing Davis — the two became friends in the Yankees’ minor league system and text every few days. His day off scuttled the matchup. “Yeah, it would have been fun to face him, but maybe I lucked out not facing him,” Judge said before the game.
The Yankees are 8-2 against the NL this season. The Reds are 1-3 against the AL. The Yankees lead their all-time interleague series with the Reds 9-7.
In the seventh inning, reliever Drew Storen plunked Aaron Hicks, Sanchez and Chase Headley. All three stayed in the game. Storen became the first Reds pitcher to hit three in an inning since Raul Sanchez plunked three Phillies in 1960.
“It’s frustrating,” Girardi said. “We’ve been already beat up. We know he’s not trying to hit them.”
Headley was hit on the right leg below the knee and will likely get the day off on Tuesday.
“He got me pretty good,” Headley said. “I don’t think it’s going to be something extended.”
Cincinnati’s Arismendy Alcantara singled as a pinch hitter, giving him hits in seven straight plate appearances. Steve Selsky hit safely in seven straight plate appearances last September.
The Yankees called up RH Chad Green as insurance for their bullpen. Green’s scheduled start at Triple-A was rained out Sunday, so he was available to throw a lot of innings. Right-handers Luis Cessa and Bryan Mitchell haven’t spent 10 days in the minors since they were optioned, so they can’t be recalled except in case of an injury. Outfielder Rob Refsnyder was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Yankees: Girardi said Judge has some soreness from diving for balls, but he’s expected back in the lineup on Tuesday.
Reds: LH Brandon Finnegan started playing catch over the weekend but isn’t yet ready to throw off a mound. He has been on the DL since April 16 with a strained pitching shoulder.
Yankees: CC Sabathia makes his first start against the Red since 2012. Two of his three career homers have come against Cincinnati: off Elizardo Ramirez at Great American Ball Park in 2005 and off Homer Bailey in 2008 at Miller Park.
Reds: Tim Adleman makes his first career appearance against the Yankees. He gave up two runs in six innings of a 4-2 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday.
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