Photo/IllutrationNew York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka throws to a Seattle Mariners batter during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Seattle on Sept. 7. (AP Photo)

SEATTLE--Masahiro Tanaka may be pitching himself into a start at the AL wild-card game.

The Japanese right-hander struck out 10 over eight innings, Gleyber Torres and Andrew McCutchen each hit two-run homers and the New York Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 4-0 on Friday night.

Tanaka (11-5) allowed three hits and didn't walk anyone, but he wasn't all that impressed.

"I felt like I didn't have my best stuff," Tanaka said through a translator. "I didn't have good command of my slider and had to make adjustments throughout the game. But as the game went one I felt I was able to get my focus. It's just grinding it out."

Tanaka has allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts. Yankees manager Aaron Boone felt Tanaka's splitfinger fastball was the pitch that made him so effective Friday night.

"The splitfinger right from the get-go was a factor," Boone said. "And we even saw him reach back when he needed a little extra velocity on his fastball. He was in complete command out there tonight. He was terrific."

Boone has yet to commit to a starter for the wild-card game if New York ends up there, in part because ace Luis Severino has been off his game of late. With more results like this, Tanaka could be Boone's guy in the winner-take-all showdown.

The Yankees maintained their 3 1/2-game lead over Oakland for the top AL wild card and stayed 8 1/2 back of AL East-leading Boston. Seattle is 6 1/2 games behind the A's for the final AL wild card.

Tanaka is 7-0 against the Mariners in his career.

"That's about as good a pitched game we've had against us in quite some time," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "He used all four quadrants of the strike zone with his fastball and he had a really good splitter going. We didn't get much to square up at all."

Torres and McCutchen squared up two pitches against starter James Paxton (11-6). Torres hit a two run-homer in the second inning, his 23rd of the season. The home run came after Luke Voit hit a two-out single to left.

Torres, 21, is the youngest Yankee since Mickey Mantle to get 100 hits in a season.

"I feel really good for that," Torres said. "Hitting in this game is not easy. You have to stay humble and stay focused. I'm trying not to do too much. Now I'm more relaxed at the plate."

McCutchen added a two-run shot in the third for his first homer as a Yankee. He entered the game with one single in 16 at-bats in his first five games with the Yankees since coming over in the trade with the Giants.

"I made some mistakes there in the second and third inning and they made me pay," said Paxton, who pitched six innings and struck out eight. "Other than that, I felt pretty good. I hung a curveball in the third inning and the second inning was a cutter that I just didn't get to the back foot."