Ibanez’s three-run homer lifts Yankees over Mariners 6-2

The New York Yankees were able to solve Felix Hernandez last night at the Stadium behind a three-run home run from Raul Ibanez. Hiroki Kuroda tossed seven innings of two-run ball to get the win.

Raul Ibanez blasts a three-run home run off King Felix. (Image: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE)

Each team scored a run in the first inning. The Mariners reached Kuroda on a Dustin Ackley lead-off homer. In the bottom half of the first the Yankees tied the score as Curtis Granderson singled, stole second and scored on Robinson Cano‘s first of four hits on the night.

The pitchers held serve for the next four innings. In the top half of the sixth, Kuroda allowed another solo home run this time to former Yankee Jesus Montero.

The bottom of the sixth is when the game turned as Ibanez rocketed the first pitch he saw from Hernandez into the right field bleachers for a three-run homer, scoring Alex Rodriguez who walked and Cano who singled.

Hernandez lasted 6.2 innings. He allowed four runs on eleven hits and two walks while striking out seven.

In the eighth, the Yankees tacked on two more runs on an Andruw Jones homer which drove in Nick Swisher who had singled to start the inning. Boone Logan got the first out of the ninth, but then allowed a single and Joe Girardi called on David Robertson for the final two outs. The inning was uneventful as he secured the outs on six pitches in a non-save situation.

NOTEWORTHY
  • Eric Chavez returned from the disabled list after 7-days due to suffering a concussion.
  • The subsequent roster move had Eduardo Nunez demoted to Triple-A Trenton so that he can play everyday. More to follow in MY TWO CENTS below.
  • Brett Garnder’s set back was likely due to his elbow not being fully healed. He will miss at least two more weeks.
  • Cano’s 4-for-4 night raised his average to a more Cano-like .308.
TODAY’S GAME

Phil Hughes is looking to build off his last effort and Hector Noesi will make his first start against his former employers.

 MY TWO CENTS

For what it’s worth, Huroki Kuroda isn’t flashy but he gets the job done. He doesn’t strike out a lot of guys (24 in 43 IP) but when he is on his game, he gets his fair share of ground balls. Last night he recorded twelve ground ball outs to two fly ball outs, an impressive 6-to-1 ratio.

The importance of Kuroda keeping the ball down to induce grounders speaks volumes when two of the fly balls he allowed left the yard. Gettng ground balls is going to continue to be significant while playing in the American League East. There are many power bats in the division and a majority of the parks favor the hitter.

Kuroda signed a one-year $10 million deal in the offseason after spending his first four MLB seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He never had eye-popping numbers with the Dodgers, but he was more than serviceable. His peripheral stats suggest he should have received more victories with better run support as his xFIP has ranged from 3.46 to 3.89 while with the Dodgers which is very much in line with his career 3.47 ERA.

The one unfavorable trend is the home runs allowed. He allowed 24 last season, by far the most in his MLB career. His previous high was 15. He is giving up just under one-per game this season (6 in 7 games) meaning he is on his way to breaking his career high.

While he has always been able to get ground outs, Kuroda was also able to keep the ball in the yard when he didn’t get a grounder. That has not been the case since 2010. Kuroda is going to have to work hard to keep his sinker and slider (all his pitches really) down, because when he doesn’t the AL East power hitters will make him pay.

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Topics: Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones, Boone Logan, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, David Robertson, Derek Jeter, Eduardo Nunez, Eric Chavez, Hector Noesi, Jesus Montero, Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees, Nick Swisher, Phil Hughes, Recap, Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners, Yankees

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