Friday, July 25, 2014

Kuroda-Led Yankees Out-Slug Blue Jays in Opener

Going into tonight's opener against the Blue Jays, it was common knowledge that Yankees RF Ichiro Suzuki had a significant advantage. 

The 40-year-old veteran, who's struggled to produce this season, was hitting .451 in his career against Jays' Starter Mark Buehrle, giving Yanks fans a rare expectation that he'd contribute to the win.

And, well, he did, lining a go-ahead three-run home run off Buehrle (3 IP, 6 ER) in the bottom of the third as the Bombers rallied for a thrilling 6-4 victory over their rival.

Now for most of this one's early going, the Pinstripes did surprisingly trail, making the spectators at Yankee Stadium nervous the home winning streak against Toronto would end.

Still, thanks to big offensive performances in the second and third the Yanks did find a way to come out on top, the fourth straight day they've done so.

To begin the onslaught that included six crossings of home in two frames, the first four batters of the bottom of the second reached, with a bases-loaded infield single by Brian Roberts driving in the Bombers' first run.

Later in the at-bat, the Pinstripes would score again on a sac fly to deep center from Brett Gardner, cutting what appeared to be a comfortable 3-0 Toronto lead to 3-2.

Then in the next inning, in a sudden turn of events, New York circled the bases four more times, as Carlos Beltran skied one over the left field wall and Ichiro knocked the aforementioned three-run shot to right, causing Jose Bautista's two homers to become worthless and eventually helping Hiroki Kuroda get the W.

Don't get me wrong, Kuroda's 5 2/3 frames of four-run ball weren't amazing, but since the relieving endeavors of David Huff, Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson did close things out #18 was rewarded for besting his counterpart, the seventh time that's happened this year. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)