Tonight, the New York Yankees’ offense could not manage to find a hit with runners’ in scoring position in a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros. It has been a series of missed opportunities as New York was 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. They are 2-for-18 in those spots through the first two games.
It was a game that began with a ceremony to honor Derek Jeter that had Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte both in attendance. Jeter was given a standing ovation by Astros’ fans and their dugout before his first at-bat of the game.
There were some bright spots for the Yankees’ offense tonight as they got three singles from second baseman Brian Roberts. That being said, the Yankees’ stranded runners from the third inning on.
New York did score a run in the top of the 7th inning when Yangervis Solarte grounded into a double play with runners on the corners and 0 out. Brett Gardner scored on the play. Later in the inning, Jeter struck out with Jacoby Ellsbury on second.
The Astros’ starter, 23-year-old Jarred Cosart, was able to keep the Yankees off balance tonight by mixing in his curveball with his mid 90′s fastball. Cosart threw five shutout innings, gave up four hits and struck out three batters. He was able to keep the ball on the ground by inducing nine ground ball outs.
The Astros started the scoring when center fielder Dexter Fowler hit a leadoff homer off of Hiroki Kuroda on the second pitch of the game. Fowler would add a triple in the bottom of the 3rd inning and score on an error from Mark Teixeira on the next batter (Robbie Grossman). The former Rockie is 4-8 in the first two games.
That being said, it was still a solid outing from Kuroda. He went six innings giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits. He struck out five batters (four swinging) and walked two. He was able to get out of key jams, such as in the bottom of the sixth inning when Houston had a runner on third (Grossman) with one out. Jason Castro and Jose Altuve would both fly out to end the inning.
In the following inning, Astros’ third baseman Matt Dominguez hit a solo home run to right field off of David Phelps to give Houston a 3-1 lead. Phelps walked two batters in the 1 1/3 inning he pitched. Matt Thornton and Shawn Kelley combined to keep Houston off the board in the bottom of the 8th.
In the top of the 8th inning, Carlos Beltran led off with a leadoff double to left field. Then, Houston reliever Matt Albers struck out Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira, and Alfonso Soriano to end the inning. Josh Fields shut the Yankees down in order in the top of the 9th to seal the win. Yankee bats struck out ten times tonight against Houston pitching.