His first inning wasn't great, neither was his last (an assist to Laz Diaz and his "interesting" umpiring on that one), but everything in between for Hiroki Kuroda was spectacular. Kuroda went 7.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk, as the Yankees finished off a sweep of the Royals, winning 4-2 on Sunday.
Jarrod Dyson led off with a double against Kuroda, and came around to score two batters later, putting the Yankees in a hole early. But after that Kuroda did what Kuroda seems to almost always do: shut down the opposing team's offense. After the first inning, Kuroda didn't allow another base runner until the fifth inning when Eric Hosmer drew a walk. But that walk and three singles were all the Royals managed off Kuroda, until the eighth inning when things got a bit messy. In the meantime, the Yankees' offense got to work and the runs for Kuroda to work with.
With one out in the third inning, Chris Stewart singled off Royals' starter Ervin Santana. Santana made it through his first two innings relatively easily, but the third didn't go as well. Two batters later, Robinson Cano smashed one deep over the right field wall, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Just two pitches later, Vernon Wells went back-to-back, hitting one into the seats in left, making it 3-1.
Two innings later, the Yankees added another run. With one out in the fifth, Brett Gardner doubled. Two batters later, Wells hit a single down the line past a diving Mike Moustakas, which easily scored Gardner, making it 4-1.
While the Yankees did this, Kuroda was cruising and didn't face any real trouble until the eighth inning. Elliott Johnson led off with a double off Kuroda. After he moved to third on a fly out, he scored on a Alcides Escobar ground out, cutting the lead to 4-2. Despite the two outs, Kuroda couldn't finish the inning after a Alex Gordon double. (Also with thanks to the home plate umpiring "skills" of Laz Diaz.) David Robertson had to be brought in, and he got Billy Butler to fly out to end the inning.
Mariano Rivera came in for the ninth inning. Eric Hosmer led off with a single against Mo, but that was erased on the very next pitch, when Salvador Perez grounded into a double play. Mo got Moustakas to fly out to Ichiro in right field to end the game. The Yankees got a 4-2 win and a three game sweep in Kansas City.
From here the Yankees go to Cleveland for a double header to make up the rained out games. The first one will begin at 12:05 eastern, with the second scheduled to start at 3:35 eastern.
More from Pinstriped Bible: