One thing teams do not want on getaway day is a long drawn out game. The New York Yankees had Mother Nature and their own offense working against that desire yesterday. Fortunately, Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda offset rain delays and the offensive rallies with quick and efficient work when he was on the mound. In the end mother nature helped out by being too strong and the Yankees swept the Toronto Blue Jays by winning the series finale 6-0 in seven innings.
The game was held up from beginning for 51 minutes due to lightning surrounding Yankee Stadium and then the game was called after a 58-minute delay with the Yankees set to hit in the bottom of the seventh. In all the game lasted just over four hours, not unlike some games without delay and the Yankees have Kuroda to thank for pushing it through. Once the game was called, the Yankees could begin packing up for their seven-game West Coast swing beginning tonight in Oakland.
Kuroda bounced back from two consecutive poor starts in which he gave up 11 runs in 13 innings by completely shutting down the Blue Jays offense. He went the “distance” scattering three singles and a double. He did not walk a batter and struck out five. The only time he had two runners on in the same inning was in the seventh after he hit Kelly Johnson following a J.P. Arencibia single. Kuroda tossed 108 pitches, 78 for strikes, for his ninth win against seven losses and lowered his ERA to 3.46.
The Yankees jumped all over Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero in the first inning. Derek Jeter led off the game with a double off the right field wall. Nick Swisher, hitting second as Curtis Granderson received a day off, singled scoring Jeter. Mark Teixeira belted a two-run home run, his 19th of the season to put the Yankees up 3-0. They weren’t finished as Robinson Cano extended his hit streak to 21 games with a double off the glove of Rajai Davis in left field. Andruw Jones completed the scoring with a RBI single and the Yankees never looked back.
Romero ended up slogging through the remainder of the game. He allowed twelve hits in all and six runs. He walked two and struck out two. The Yankees other two runs were delivered by the lower part of the order as Jayson Nix, playing short for Jeter, and Dewayne Wise, in center for Granderson, combined for four hits, two runs and two RBI.
The Yankees (57-34) have won three straight, six of seven and nine of eleven. Since May 21, they are 36-13 and have built a 10-game lead in the American League East. The Blue Jays fell to 45-47, 12.5 games back of the Yankees, and lost another player to injury. They placed Jose Bautista on the disabled list yesterday, and then lost Brett Lawrie for an undetermined amount of time with a right calf contusion. Lawrie tried to make a leaping catch of a foul ball near the left field foul line and ended up landing in the camera well which looked to be a five or six foot drop.
The Yankees begin a seven-game road trip tonight with four games in Oakland and then three in Seattle. Tonight the Yanks send Freddy Garcia (4-2, 5.25 ERA) out to face A’s rookie A.J. Griffin (1-0, 2.61 ERA). Garcia has been pitching well of late since being thrust back into the rotation. He’s 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA in his last three starts. Griffin will be making his fifth major league start, after getting his first career victory in his last outing.