Yanks Capture Rubber Game of Weekend Series over Baltimore
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, April 15- Neither the Yankees nor the Orioles had a runner in scoring position during the first four innings of the rubber game of the weekend series at Yankee Stadium.
The two starters from Asia, Hiroki Kuroda, a native of Japan, representing the Yankees and the Korean Wei-Yin Chen, representing the Orioles, hooked up in a pitching duel in the early innings.
Three Yankee runners crossed home plate in the bottom of the fifth frame. The first two batters, Brendan Bosch and Francisco Cervelli singled. Two deep fly balls moved Bosch up. He scored on the fly ball of Jayson Nix.
Brett Gardner followed with his first home run of 2013, which scored two runs. Gardner’s drive hit the foul pole in right field. Of his homer, he remarked, “I was swinging on the first pitch. It was a pretty good pitch to hit.” He also gave credit to the men on base earlier in the inning, “Guys getting on base gave me the opportunity.”
T.J. McFarland, a 2012 Rule V selection from Cleveland, replaced Chen on the mound for Baltimore in the bottom of the seventh. He kept the Yankees scoreless in his two innings of relief.
Kuroda hurled his fifth shutout in the majors. Even the words “complete game shutout” do not adequately describe the extent of Kuroda’s outstanding performance. The Japanese native only gave up five hits and did not issue a walk during his nine innings. Kuroda did not allow any runner to reach second base. He also allowed the overworked bullpen one day of rest as he threw 113 pitches to complete the game.” He has pitched the last two complete game shutouts for New York; his most recent one was on August 14, 2012.
After the contest, Yankees skipper Joe Girardi praised the work of his starter, ‘I thought his sinker was excellent. I thought he kept them off-balance with his slider. He kept his pitch count down.”
After a day off on Monday, the Yankees will host the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three game series. The Diamondbacks will be making their first visit to the current Yankee Stadium.
Jackie Robinson Day will be celebrated on Tuesday. In honor of the baseball great, every player, in addition to Mariano Rivers, will wear uniform #42. There will also be ceremonies of remembrance.
The scheduled starters on Tuesday are Ivan Nova for the Yanks and Brandon McCarthy for Arizona.