The road, whether more or less traveled, has been a horror show for Hiroki Kuroda this season. Coming into today, he’d given up 27 hits, 11 walks, and 5 homers on the road in 21.2 innings while surrendering 18 runs, 15 of them earned (6.23 ERA, compared to 3.41 at home). The friendly confines of (the ridiculously named) O.co Coliseum and the weak offense that calls them home were just what Kuroda needed, as he racked up his first road victory of the season, throwing eight shutout innings while walking only one and striking out three.
One of those three strikeouts came at one of the most important times of the game. With runners on the corners and one out, Kuroda struck out Oakland DH Kila Ka’aihue before getting third baseman Luke Donaldson to pop out and end the only real threat Oakland could muster during the game. The Yankees, who’d slugged their way to 6-3 and 9-2 victories on Friday and Saturday, needed just two runs today, thanks to Kuroda’s performance. They got their runs in the second and the seventh. The former came on a monster home run by Anduruw Jones and the latter came on an RBI double by suddenly-hot-hitting Mark Teixeira.
–Kuroda took advantage of the big ball park, getting nine fly outs to seven ground outs.
–The Yanks got 11 runners on base against Tommy Milone, but let him off the hook a bit.
–The A’s bullpen pitched 2.1 perfect innings after Milone exited.
–Every Yankee starter, except for Chris Stewart, reached base.
–Derek Jeter passed George Brett on the all time hit-list. Next up is Cal Ripken (3,184).
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