Hiroki Kuroda worked quickly tonight, the Oriole hitters swung early to a most pleasing result: ground balls to Yankee infielders. Robinson Cano made several graceful plays, especially a double play to end the eighth inning. Kuroda had his back-door slider going, the splitter splitting, and, of course, his sinker sinking. Gave up five hits and didn’t walk a batter.
Staked to a 3-0 lead highlighted by a 2-run home run by Brett Gardner that hit high off the right field foul pole, Kuroda took a shutout into the ninth inning. Jason Nix made a one-our error and in the bullpen the TV cameras showed Mariano Rivera roll his eyes and give a little smile. Then Adam Jones tapped out to Kevin Youkilis at third and the hot-hitting Chris Jones, who’d already struck out twice, whiffed to end the game.
Tidy, efficient, satisfying.
[Photo Credit: Virginia Woods-Jack]