Yankees struggle against Roenis Elias in loss to Mariners

Roenis Elias
The Yankees looked helpless against the young Cuban Roenis Elias.
Credit: Getty Images

Yankee batter after Yankee batter looked helpless as they flailed at curveballs from Roenis Elias.

In the end, he had struck out eight Yankees on curveballs and 12 overall in a 4-2 win by the Mariners Thursday night.

The Yankees thought they caught a break not facing Felix Hernandez, who was scheduled to start before Wednesday’s rainout. Then they ran into a left-hander who they had never seen before.

It looked promising for the Yankees when Jacoby Ellsbury led off with his first home run. It was the Yankees’ first leadoff homer since Aug. 21, 2012 when Derek Jeter did it in Chicago, but after that it was lights out.

“He was good,” Carlos Beltran said. “Anytime you’ve never faced a guy, you don’t know what you’re going to get from him. He was able to pitch in and out. We basically couldn’t do nothing against him.”

Elias was so good against the Yankees that he threw the curveball 41 times, getting 17 swings and misses. The Yankees saw 110 pitches from him and swung and missed 44 times while getting six hits. They had no extra-base hits after Ellsbury’s home run.

Jeter struck out twice on the curve and three times overall, while Ellsbury fanned twice on the pitch after homering.

“He was better than us today,” Jeter said.

That might have been the understatement of the night for the Yankees, who heard some boos toward the end of their 12th loss.

Elias became another Cuban defector to have a big night in New York. Last year, Yasiel Puig, Jose Iglesias and Leonys Martin played well in Yankee Stadium while Yoenis Cespedes won the Home Run Derby at Citi Field.

“I thought he mixed his curveball and fastball effectively,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He had a number of strikeouts on his curveball against us tonight.”

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Elias was the second opposing rookie to have a double-digit strikeout game in his Yankee Stadium debut. The other was Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore, who fanned 11 Yankees on Sept. 22, 2011.

When it was apparent the Yankees couldn’t touch Elias most of the night and hit into two rally-killing doubles plays in the second and third, that meant Hiroki Kuroda was in for a tough loss.

After getting torched for eight runs in 4 2/3 innings during Friday’s 13-1 loss to Anaheim, Kuroda allowed four runs (three earned) and seven hits over six innings.

He gave up an RBI double to Robinson Cano in the first and a run-scoring groundout to the second baseman following a Jeter error in the third. In the fourth he allowed an RBI single to Brad Miller and a run-scoring double to Michael Saunders before retiring the final seven hitters of a 94-pitch night.

“He didn’t pitch horribly tonight,” Girardi said. “I thought tonight was an improvement. I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…


Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…


Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.


Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…


'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…


'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.


Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.


Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.


Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.


When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.


Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…


Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…


The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…


Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.