Kuroda simply didn't have it from the start, as he recorded just one out by the time the Twins had jumped out to an early 4-0 lead behind back-to-back doubles by Jamey Carroll and Joe Mauer, followed by Justin Morneau's two run homer. Kuroda would allow another run in the third inning and was out of the game after serving up another home run to Morneau in the fifth, who now has as many homers in 2012 as he did in 2011.
The bullpen was surprisingly exceptional, as Clay Rapada, Boone Logan, and Rafael Soriano combined to throw 4 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out six batters. Logan was especially good, as four of the strikeouts belonged to him.
The offense got off to a similar hot start, plating three in the bottom of the first behind a Robinson Cano RBI double and a two-RBI single by Nick Swisher. In the bottom of the third, Cano would add to his day by belting a homer deep into right field, his first of the season.
From there, the offense was relatively quiet. The final run of the night came via another Derek Jeter homer, a solid drive sent into the Yankee bullpen. For the third time of the evening, the Yankees had pulled to within one run of tying the game, but Curtis Granderson struck out and Mark Teixeira flew out to right field to end the game.
Stray thoughts and observations:
- Derek Jeter is now hitting .389 after his 3-for-5 day, and has four homers in just 12 games. He hit six homers in 131 games last season, to put that in perspective. The man is simply on fire, and it is really fun to watch.
- Robinson Cano seemed to finally break out, chipping in with a double and a homer.
- Russell Martin's offense has been anemic, and if he wasn't taking walks, he'd be utterly useless. He's hitting just .148 after tonight's 0-for-2 showing, and has yet to hit hit anything other than a single.
- Eric Chavez went 1-for-2 in his first start of the season, and if his double play ball with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first had gotten through into right, this night may have a different feel to it.
- Four strikeouts out of Boone Logan was not expected, and I have to top my cap to the lefty for a quality outing.
- Hiroki Kuroda got hit hard and hit often, but if there's anything positive to take from this outing, at least he didn't walk anyone.