Hiroki Kuroda has been a good big league pitcher for six years, but he has a sub-.500 record because of games like this one. Kuroda pitched well tonight in Houston, but the Yankees lineup hit too many weak ground balls, struck out too many times and missed too many scoring opportunities in a 3-1 loss to the Astros. Kuroda allowed two runs on three hits through six innings, but the Yankees were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. After Carlos Beltran led off with a double in the eighth, Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano each struck out swinging. Teixeira and Soriano also stranded runners at the corners in the sixth. In the seventh, the Yankees put runners at the corners with no outs, and spring training standout Yangervis Solarte made his big league debut pinch hitting against a left-handed reliever. Solarte hit into a double play, Jacoby Ellsbury walked and stole second, then Derek Jeter struck out to end the threat with the Astros still leading. Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler homered in the first inning and tripled in the third. Fowler has four extra-base hits in the first two games of the season. The Yankees have just two. The Astros also have four home runs in these two games, while the Yankees have scored just three runs and have yet to go deep.
Associated Press photo