Hiroki Kuroda pitches gem as Yankees beat Angels

 

Not many sure things exist for the Yankees these days, except for perhaps when Hiroki Kuroda starts or David Robertson faces a bases-loaded jam.

Kuroda was on his game last night, allowing three hits in eight scoreless innings and Robertson held off a rally to earn the save as the Yankees won consecutive games for the first time in over a month with a 2-1 victory over the Angels.

“I don’t know if you can expect anyone to be that dominant in this day and age when there’s so many ways to score runs, but he’s just been brilliant,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He gave us those eight innings. We knew we needed a lot of distance out of him tonight.”

Kuroda allowed a leadoff double to Josh Hamilton on a slider in the second. He also gave up an infield single on a fastball on a hot smash to shortstop by Mike Trout.

The third hit Kuroda allowed was a two-out double to Chris Iannetta. Kuroda quickly shut it down even as Boone Logan warmed up by retiring pinch-hitter Hank Conger on a 3-1 pitch to shortstop Eduardo Nunez in shallow left field.

The last two at-bats of the eighth were two of the four instances Kuroda reached a three-ball count. The Yankees went to Boone Logan to start the ninth and Robertson to finish it as they gave Mariano Rivera a day off after he had blown three straight saves for the first time in his career.

“Hiroki’s been amazing lately,” Robertson said. “Every time he takes the ball, it seems like he gives you seven or eight innings. He’s exceptional out there. Everything he threw was baffling the hitter. He seems to be doing that the last couple of weeks, shoot the season.”

That’s where things got really interesting for the Yankees in another close game

Logan allowed a single to lead off the ninth as portions of the crowd began chanting for Mariano Rivera. David Robertson eventually worked out of a bases-loaded jam by fanning former Yankee Chris Nelson on a full count with a high fastball for his sixth career save.

Before closing out the win, Robertson walked Trout on a close pitch and gave up an RBI double to Hamilton that just sailed over Alex Rodriguez’s head at third and into short left field.

“I was trying to make a good pitch,” Robertson said. “They had a runner on first. I was hoping to maybe get a ground ball double play. I ended up walking Trout and after that Hamilton got the hit over Alex’s head at third and I was like, ‘Good God.’

“That’s a tough spot mentally and it just got even worse. I just had to dig deep and find a way to get out of it.”

Robertson recovered and needed three fastballs to strike out Mark Trumbo and then got Nelson, who briefly played for the Yankees in May, to expand the strike zone and swing at a full-count cut fastball.

It was Kuroda’s major-league leading ninth scoreless outing of the season. Five have been in his last seven starts. Kuroda’s pitch count was so low nobody began warming in the Yankee bullpen until his final batter.

The Yankees did not do much offensively as they won for the third time in four games and first time consecutively since opening July with a six-game winning streak. They had been 11-18 in between wining streaks.

Brett Gardner had his third straight game with the go-ahead hit as he had an RBI single in the second. Curtis Granderson added a second-deck home run in the seventh.

As for Alex Rodriguez, he singled in the second but drew boos for getting caught stealing and grounding into a pair of double plays

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Grimm choice: Tax fraud trial could dog NY…

Rep. Michael Grimm may be splitting his time between the campaign trail and a courtroom where he is due to face tax evasion charges.

Local

Met Opera, unions extend talks for 72 hours,…

Met Opera agreed to extend negotiations with its labor unions for 72 hours, preventing a threatened lockout, the organization said late Thursday.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures August 2…

Summer Streets, the NYC Triathlon, the Ecuadorian Parade and festivals will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on 'Calvary' and his very…

Brendan Gleeson discusses how "Calvary" began over drinks and how his priest character is the opposite of the officer he played in "The Guard."

Movies

Interview: Chris O'Dowd does funny and serious in…

Chris O'Dowd talks about "Calvary," an Irish comedy-drama about a priest (Brendan Gleeson) under fire.

Movies

'Alive Inside' and 'Code Black' are documentaries with…

Two new documentaries — "Alive Inside" and "Code Black" — portray different issues but suffer from the same problem.

Music

Caught a Ghost catches a soul/rap vibe

Jesse Nolan says Caught a Ghost's sound aims for two things everybody likes: soul music and '90s rap.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…