RHP Hiroki Kuroda (11-13, 3.31 in 2013)
Kuroda vs. Astros
Dexter Fowler CF
Robbie Grossman LF
Jason Castro C
Jose Altuve 2B
Chris Carter DH
Marc Krauss 1B
Matt Dominguez 3B
Alex Presley RF
Jonathan Villar SS
RHP Jarred Cosart (1-1, 1.95 in 2013)
Cosart vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, YES Network and WFAN
WEATHER: Wasn’t supposed to rain today, but sure enough, it started raining about two hours before game time. The roof was closed throughout batting practice. Of all the ballparks with a retractable roof, this is probably my favorite. Still feels like a real ballpark even with the roof closed.
UMPIRES: HP Phil Cuzzi, 1B Brian Knight, 2B Quinn Wolcott, 3B Gerry Davis
ONE DOWN: Are now 6-1 all time at Houston, having lost here for the first time last night. The Yankees previously swept both of their other all-time series at Minute Maid Park (September 27-29, 2013 and June 13-15, 2008) while outscoring the Astros by a combined 33-9.
TWO AWAY: Derek Jeter leads all active major leaguers with 3,317 career hits. He is two away from tying Paul Molitor for eighth place on baseball’s all-time hits list. That would put Jeter fourth on the all-time American League hits list. He’s already the Yankees franchise leader.
THREE OF A KIND: Tonight’s starter, Hiroki Kuroda, is one of three Japan-born players on the Yankees roster (also Ichiro Suzuki and Masahiro Tanaka). The Yankees have used six Japan-born players in their history: Hideki Irabu (1997-99), Hideki Matsui (2003-09), Kei Igawa (2007-08), Kuroda (2012-13), Ryota Igarashi (2012) and Suzuki (2012-13). With Tanaka and Kuroda, the Yankees will have two Japan-born pitchers in their starting rotation, becoming the first team to do so since the Dodgers had starters Hideo Nomo and Kazuhisa Ishii in 2004.
UPDATE, 8:16 p.m.: Even better moment than the pregame ceremony, the Astros just came out of the dugout to applaud Jeter’s first at-bat of the night. Had to step out of the box and tip his helmet to the bench and the crowd. Very cool.
UPDATE, 8:27 p.m.: Well that was rude. On Jeter’s day here in Houston, the Astros have taken a quick 1-0 lead on a leadoff homer by Dexter Fowler. He’s new to the Astros, and he’s played awfully well in these first two games (so far).
UPDATE, 8:50 p.m.: Kuroda gets through a scoreless second inning. He’s at 35 pitches through two.
UPDATE, 9:16 p.m.: Mark Teixeira couldn’t make the play on a sharp ground ball, leading to a run. Then the Yankees turn an unusual 4-5-3 double play to end the second inning. It’s 2-0 after the run-scoring error by Teixeira. Dexter Fowler has four extra-base hits in six at-bats so far.
UPDATE, 9:46 p.m.: Gardner at second, Roberts at first. Setting up before the pitch, Roberts is almost as if he’s in the starting blocks for a race. His body is turned toward second and his eyes are strictly on Gardner. If Gardner goes, Roberts will go. If the first baseman comes back to cover the bag for a pickoff, Kelleher will tell Roberts to retreat.
UPDATE, 9:50 p.m.: Best chance the Yankees have had tonight, but Johnson and Ellsbury each grounded to the right side to ultimately leave two runners stranded. It’s still 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth.
UPDATE, 10:18 p.m.: Pretty nice play by Roberts for the first out of the sixth, but it’s followed by a Grossman triple to center field. This outfield is just so deep to center. Anything out there has a chance to be three bases.
UPDATE, 10:31 p.m.: Here’s Solarte making his big league debut hitting for Kelly Johnson with runners at the corners. Gardner going first to third on the Roberts single was pretty gutsy.
UPDATE, 10:44 p.m.: Solarte hit into a double play, and — after a Ellsbury walk and stolen base — Jeter struck out to end the inning. The Yankees got one run that inning, and their speed gave them a chance to do more, but bad outs at bad times have kept the Astros in the lead, 2-1.