Monday, April 30, 2012
NEW YORK—Hiroki Kuroda turned in a stellar seven-inning effort and Eric Chavez slugged a two-run homer, as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 2-1, on Monday at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees received a strong starting performance for a second straight day, as Kuroda followed up CC Sabathia’s winning effort with a gem of his own, permitting just one run on four hits and saving the lead with his own defensive play at home plate.
Kuroda looked like he had nothing over the first two innings as seemingly every ball was hit hard, but he settled down nicely to give the Yankees seven innings of one-run ball. His final play of the game was probably the most important one. The Orioles had the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second with two outs in the seventh when a pitch got away from Russell Martin. It rolled into foul territory but not all that far and the Orioles gambled by sending the runner but Martin was able to retrieve the ball and flip it to Kuroda who beat the runner to the plate and applied the tag to the end the inning. The Orioles could not muster anything against David Robertson or Mariano Rivera over the final two innings and the Yankees had a nice win in a rare briskly played pitcher’s duel.
I’m enjoying watching Kuroda pitch so far and hope he can keep it going. I’d take a 3.69 ERA from him over the rest of the year.
I was not particularly enamored with the Eric Chavez re-signing, but so far he’s been great. I don’t know if he’ll stay healthy or keep it up all year, but he’s probably already been worth his salary.
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