Yankees 2, Angels 1: Kuroda's masterpiece

Mike Stobe

Hiroki Kuroda somehow managed to top himself in dominating the Angels.

Hiroki Kuroda toed the rubber for the Yankees against the Los Angeles Angels in an attempt to give the team their first consecutive wins since July 12th. He would be opposed by hard-throwing righthander Garrett Richards. Richards was game, but he just wasn't able to match the excellence of Kuroda.

The Yankees drew first blood in the bottom of the third inning thanks to some timely two-out hitting from Sunday's hero, Brett Gardner, who slapped a single into centerfield to drive in Eduardo Nunez from second to make the score 1-0. But that would be it for the scoring until the bottom of the seventh when Curtis Granderson hit a long home run into right field to give him his third homer in just six at-bats against Richards. So it was another Kuroda start in which the Yankees offense did very little to support their ace.

Fortunately for the Yankees, Kuroda continued to be his superlative 2013 self, allowing only three Angels to reach base in eight innings of fantastic work while striking out six. His slider and splitter had the Angels off-balance and flailing all night. He has only allowed five earned runs in his last 48 innings. His teammates gave him barely any breathing room once again, but it didn't matter as the Angels were simply outclassed. In the ninth Kuroda would not be relieved by Mariano Rivera, but by Boone Logan, who would combine with David Robertson to give up one run and load the bases, but Robertson struck out former Yankees star Chris Nelson to get the save . Michael Kay made sure to start speculating immediately about Rivera, but it seemed to just be a decision based on Rivera's recent workload and loudness.

We could probably have these recaps for Kuroda's starts up even sooner by just cutting and pasting the one used in his prior appearance. Regardless of the opponent or the pitching matchup, you can always bet that Kuroda will be great and that Yankees will not give him proper run support. It's a shame that his 11-7 record may keep him from serious Cy Young award consideration, because he's as valid a candidate as there is in the American League. But that's a complaint for another day. Two in a row! Yeah!

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