Sunday, August 17, 2014

Kuroda, Gardner Lead Yankees to Rubber Game Win in Tampa

Hiroki Kuroda surrendered just 2 earned runs in 6 2/3 innings and Brett Gardner connected on a big two-run single today as the Yankees beat the Rays, 4-2, in the rubber game of this three-game set.

In his start this afternoon, interestingly, Kuroda only struck out one hitter, a stat that usually indicates ineffectiveness. 

Fortunetaly, though, that wasn't the case in this one, with the veteran allowing just four total hits to get the W, his eighth of the year.

Yes, for the first four frames he was haunted by another rough bottom of the first in which Evan Longoria grounded Ben Zobrist home, but since the Yanks still found a way to rally off Tampa Bay's Jeremy Hellickson (5 IP, 3 ER) in their half of the fifth things did finish relatively stress-free for the visitors, who collected a trio in that at-bat when Gardner collected the aforementioned single and Jacoby Ellsbury drove him in with another knock. 

No, things weren't technically over at that point, but thanks to nearly-perfect relief from Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson as a well a solo homer by Mark Teixeira in the eighth they soon would be, with that performance by Robertson impressively earning him his 33rd save.

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