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Postgame notes: “I knew what we had from the beginning”

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There was a game today? It was easy to overlook in all of the Alex Rodriguez drama and Alfonso Soriano trade talk, but the Yankees actually managed to escape with a series split here in Texas. I’m going to give just a basic version of today’s postgame notes, because obviously there’s a lot going on.

Last I heard on the Soriano deal was that it’s close but “not done yet.” I’ll update with more as it happens. For now, a few notes from today’s game.

• Hiroki Kuroda actually said he pitched poorly. “I don’t think I had any particular pitch that was working well,” he said. “From the get-go, I didn’t have a good outing, but I was able to get big outs and put up a decent outing.” His teammates, of course, said otherwise. “If it’s not perfect, he won’t think it’s good,” Austin Romine said. “I knew what we had from the beginning of the game.”

• Kuroda has a 0.69 ERA in four starts this month. “He’s pitched well enough to have 14, 15 wins, and he doesn’t have them,” Joe Girardi said. “And that’s probably why he’s flying under the radar.”

• Romine caught the shutout, and also had his first three-hit game. It included two doubles. He’s actually been hitting quite a bit better lately. “Me and K-Long got in the cage one day and I said, something’s not working,” Romine said. “He goes, ‘I don’t think it’s physical, it’s mental. Let’s start trying to go the other way.’ So we spent a whole day at home trying to hit the ball the other way. It helped me see the ball a little bit better, swing at better pitches, and just getting good wood on the ball.”

• The Yankees won two of four here in Texas, and in each win, Brent Lillibridge had the go-ahead hit. “He’s played well,” Girardi said. “You know, when I think of Lillibridge, I think of the catches he made that one day in right field for the White Sox. I still haven’t forgotten those. He’s a versatile player. He’s grinding out at-bats and he’s gotten some big RBIs.”

• Mariano Rivera was presented with boots and a cowboy hat during a pregame ceremony. Girardi said he wanted Rivera to wear the boots on the flight home. Rivera said he might wear the hat later this season. “I might wear it one of these days, show up at Yankee Stadium with it,” he said.

• Derek Jeter said he felt fine after running the bases today, and Girardi seemed optimistic as well. “Good reports,” Girardi said. “I watched him. He’ll run again tomorrow, he’ll see the doctor and then we’ll go from there.”

• Could he play Saturday? “I’m not throwing anything out there,” Girardi said. “I’m not dismissing anything, either.”

Associated Press photos