The first nine outs today were strikeouts. Hiroki Kuroda (six) and Matt Moore (three), both dealing.
The Yanks scored first. Here’s out how it went down. Eduardo Nunez lead off the third with a walk, stole second and scored on a base hit by Derek Jeter. B.J. Upton missed the cut-off man and Jeter advanced to second. Small ballin’ Nick Swisher sacrificed him to third and down in the count, Alex Rodriguez lined a base hit to center. He moved to second on a wild pitch and then stole third as Robinson Cano walked.
Russell Martin fell behind, laid off a couple of nasty breaking balls, worked the count full and then popped a fastball over the fence in right field for a three-run home run.
With a five run lead, the usually luckless Kuroda had a cushion to work with. And when he gave up a solo home run to Ben Zobrist in the fourth, the Yanks scored a run in the bottom of the inning. But strange things awaited Kuroda and the Yanks in the sixth.
It began when Kuroda walked the ninth place hitter on a full count pitch to start the inning. Then, Desmond Jennings hit a slow grounder to third. Rodriguez charged, fielded it and made a nice throw to first but it wasn’t in time to get Jennings. So, Zobrist. Looked like Kuroda had him when he popped a ball in foul territory. Pearce tracked it and leaned into the stands. He brushed against a Mook in a Nick Swisher jersey who was trying to catch the ball, too. And the ball knocked off Pearce’s glove. The fan didn’t help but it was on Pearce–he should have made the catch.
Instead, Zobrist walked and the bases were loaded for Evan Longoria. Kuroda got him to hit a ground ball. It bounced toward Rodriguez and then took a high hop and went over his head. Runners on the corners, nobody out and the score was 6-3. But Kuroda didn’t break. He got a double play–which scored another run, and then a strike out.
And that was it for the scoring today. Dave Phelps worked into and out of trouble in the seventh, Robertson and Soriano did the voodoo that they do so well in the eighth and ninth to close it out.
Final Score: Yanks 6, Rays 4.
Yanks now five up on the Rays. The O’s and A’s game just started…
[Photo Via: Pug King]