Kuroda bombed in loss to Twins

Justin Morneau, right, pounded the Yankees for two home runs.

If Hiroki Kuroda faces the Twins later this year, the game tape will not be enjoyable, especially against Justin Morneau.

Kuroda could not retire Morneau and slogged his way through 4 2/3 innings in last night’s 6-5 loss to the Twins at Yankee Stadium.

The follow-up to Kuroda’s masterpiece in Friday’s home opener was a dud as he tied a career worst by allowing 10 hits for the sixth time in his five-year career. Three of those hits were to Morneau, who actually has two more home runs (seven) at the current Yankee Stadium than at Target Field.

“He’s such a good hitter because he keeps making adjustments,” Kuroda said through an interpreter. “He can be aggressive and [get] clutch hits even with two strikes.”

“He’s just not missing his pitches right now,” catcher Russell Martin added. “He’s a tough hitter.”

Morneau feasted on Kuroda’s slider and sinker. He took a first-pitch sinker over the right field wall in the first for a three-run home run that put Minnesota up 4-0.

After lining a single in the third on Kuroda’s fastball, he got ahead 3-0 in the fifth and slugged a slider over the right field wall. That marked Morneau’s 15th career multi-home run game and put Minnesota up 6-4. That insurance did not come back to bite the Yankees until Derek Jeter hit a solo home run with one out in the ninth.

“My sinker is my core pitch,” Kuroda said. “I really didn’t have my other pitches either and you see what happened today.”

Kuroda threw 37 sliders to great effect in his eight-inning masterpiece in the home opener, but it did not appear he much of a feel for any pitches Wednesday night.

Kuroda opened the night by allowing three straight hits on nine pitches. After allowing Morneau’s first home run, he gave up three straight hits in the third and Minnesota’s fifth run on a sinker.

“He was up,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He didn’t have his good sinker that he had against the Angels and they really made him pay, especially in the first inning. He kind of battled through 3 1/3 innings for us, but he was up.”

The Yankees decided not to pitch to Morneau in the ninth.

Despite Kuroda’s inability to retire Morneau, the Yankees had a chance to go two games over .500 for the first time in 2012.

They countered Minnesota’s four-run first by scoring three of their own in the bottom of the inning. Robinson Cano lined an RBI double and Nick Swisher followed with a run-scoring single. Cano also added his first home run of the season in the third.

That was the extent the damage against Jason Marquis, who was making his American League debut. The Yankees had first and second with one out in the fourth, but Jeter flied out and Curtis Granderson struck out.

In the seventh, the Yankees had first and third for Swisher with two outs, but nothing developed as his strikeout sent several fans to the exits.

“I thought we hit the ball really well tonight,” said Mark Teixeira, whose warning track fly out to right field ended it. “We hit a few at ‘em balls. It just didn’t go our way.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

What New Yorkers need to know about the…

A measles outbreak in New York City has spread further, the health department said Wednesday.

Local

Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.

Local

East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 16: 'The Americans,'…

'The Americans' Philip and Elizabeth face "painful turns" in their missions. Maybe next week they'll have a nice easy mission with no moral ambiguity? Probably…

Movies

Curtain raiser: The Tribeca Film Festival arrives this…

The Tribeca Film Festival begins its two-week run in Lower Manhattan on Thursday, boasting dozens and dozens of films of all stripes.

The Word

Paul Walker's brothers will replace him in 'Fast…

Ever since a car crash took Paul Walker's life, fans have wondered what the "Fast & Furious" franchise would do without one of its most beloved stars.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

NHL

Islanders back to rebuilding mode after disappointing season

One season after qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, the Islanders finished 2013-14 with a 34-37-11 record.

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.