The New York Yankees blasted three more home runs last night and received dominant pitching from Hiroki Kuroda in a 7-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
The power supply came from varying sources last night, some expected and some not. Robinson Cano hit his sixth homer in the last eight games to raise his total to 17 on the season. Dewayne Wise, getting a rare start in left field, added his first homer of the season. Nick Swisher recorded the other home run, a solo shot, giving him 12 on the season.
Cano, who just took over the lead in the All-Star voting at second base, has been seeing the ball extremely well in June and displaying plenty of power. He’s got his slugging percentage up to .572 and his OPS sits at .941 good for fifth in the American League.
On the mound, Kuroda was excellent. He was coming off a rocky start against the Atlanta Braves, in which he allowed four runs in seven innings. Last night, Kuroda didn’t give up his fourth hit until the eighth inning. He had held the Indians scoreless through seven innings striking out seven batters in the process. The Indians scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Kipnis off Clay Rapada, the only blemish on Kuroda’s line.
The Yankees put up consecutive deuces in each of the first three innings, battering Indians start Josh Tomlin. In the first inning, Cano roped a liner to the gap in right field splitting the outfielders with runners at first and third to drive in the first two Yankees runs.
In the second Wise went deep off Tomlin with Eric Chavez at first base giving the Yankees a 4-0 lead. Cano and Swisher went back to back in the third inning to give Kuroda plenty of breathing room. The Yanks tacked on a run in the sixth on a run-scoring triple by Wise.
The Yankees (44-28) climbed a season-high 16 games over .500 for the second time this season. The Bombers increased their lead in the AL East to three games over the idle Baltimore Orioles. The Tribe stayed one-half game back of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central, as they also lost last night.
In tonight’s game the Yanks hope that Phil Hughes (7-6, 4.94 ERA) can turn things around from his last start much like Kuroda was able to do last night. Hughes allowed four home runs to the Atlanta Braves in his last outing, and leads the league with 19 homers allowed on the season. Prior to that start, Hughes was on a roll notching three straight wins. The Indians will counter with Justin Masterson (4-6, 3.98 ERA), who is coming off a stellar complete game performance against the Cincinnati Reds. Masterson has won two in a row and has not allowed an earned run in 20 straight innings.