A pitching duel was suddenly halted as the Yankees put plenty runs on the board to support a masterful outing from Hiroki Kuroda on their way to a 3-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
The bottom of the fifth started with back-to-back singles from Brennan Boesch and Francisco Cervelli, with Boesch advancing to third base on a sac fly from Lyle Overbay. He scored on another sac fly from Jayson Nix, and then Brett Gardner came through with the big blow. The Yankees’ leadoff hitter crushed his second home run of the season off of the foul pole in right field to put his team up 3-0.
The Yankees would only record one more hit, but the three runs would prove to be all that Kuroda needed.
The veteran right-hander had gotten off to a rough start in his first two outings of the season, but he got back on track on Sunday. A line drive in the second inning of his first game caused a contusion in the middle finger on his throwing hand, and the effects seemed to carry over into his second start. But in his third start of the year, Kuroda was extremely efficient, hurling a five-hitter without issuing a walk and striking out five. He never faced more than four batters in any inning and recorded 16 outs via the groundball. Kuroda didn’t allow a runner to reach second base until the ninth inning after Nick Markakis reached on an error.
Associated Press photo