GAME 32: With Ivan Nova gone, Michael Pineda a month away, and CC Sabathia in a rough streak, the Yankees needed a big start from Hiroki Kuroda and they got one. Kuroda went a strong 7 2/3, Brian Roberts broke a 3-3 tie with a huge, 2-out home run in the 9th, and David Robertson pitched a perfect 9th for the victory.
For the time in his last 14 outings, Kuroda got past the 6th inning. He allowed 3 runs, 1 earned, and struck out 8 with no walks, but ended up with a no-decision as reliever Shawn Kelly allowed the tying run to score.
After getting two quick outs in the Halos 8th, Kuroda allowed a triple to Mike Trout. Kelly came in to face Albert Puljos. After a 3-0 count (and flashbacks from 24 hours ago), Kelly got it to 3-2, but Puljos lashed a single into left scoring Trout to tie the game at 3.
Angels closer Ernesto Frieri got Yangervis Solarte and Brett Gardner to start the Yankees’ 9th, but second baseman Brian Roberts launched a blast into the right field seats for a 4-3 lead.
In another tight game, the Yankees broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the 7th. Alfonso Soriano singled to left, scoring Carlos Beltran from second base for a 3-2 lead.
The Yanks needed this one. They came into the game losers of 5 of their last 6, and slipping into second place behind Baltimore by percentage points in the American League East.
Here’s the box score and a recap.
GAME NOTES: Yankee-killer Howie Kendricks went 0-4, can’t recall the last time, if ever, that happened … For the umpteenth time in his New York career, Hiroki Kuroda didn’t get enough run support to notch a win …
MEMORY LANE: On May 6th, 1962, in his first major league start at Yankee Stadium, , 22 year-old right-hander Jim Bouton shut the door on the Senators, 8-0. He was almost taken out of the game by manager Ralph Houk in the first inning after 12 pitches, 11 were called balls. Jim gave up seven hits and walked seven which he wrote about in Ball Four , calling it “the worst shutout in the history of the game.”