You could make the case that Hiroki Kuroda has become the Yankees ace by default, but even a replacement ace needs some offensive support, and Kuroda didn’t get enough tonight. Continuing a season-long trend of lineup letdowns, the Yankees couldn’t build on two early home runs and took a 3-2 walk-off loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards. The Yankees fourth extra-inning game in their past 12 ended on Nick Hundley’s game-winning single off Adam Warren in the 10th inning. Kuroda allowed two runs through seven innings, but his one bad inning cost the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Having spent the past 13 seasons with the Orioles, second baseman Brian Roberts played his first game as a visitor in Camden Yards and homered on the first pitch he saw. The next inning, Kelly Johnson also went deep and the Yankees had an early 2-0 lead. That lead vanished in a wild fourth inning when Kuroda hit two batters, threw two wild pitches and got no help on a single that glanced off Derek Jeter’s glove. The Yankees best chance to regain the lead came in the ninth when Brian McCann led off with a single. Francisco Cervelli came off the bench to pinch run, and Roberts laid down a bunt, but the Orioles were able to get the lead runner out at second base and the opportunity was squandered when pinch hitter Zelous Wheeler grounded to third.
Associated Press photo