It was another low scoring affair today in Arlington as the New York Yankees defeated the Texas Rangers 2-0. Both the Yankees and Rangers got superb starts from Hiroki Kuroda and Derek Holland, but the Yankees offense came through just enough to get Kuroda the win and split the series with the Rangers.
Ichiro Suzuki led off the game with a single in the first inning, but that was followed by Brent Lillibridge grounding out to Adrian Beltre at third, leading to the force out at second base. Robinson Cano struck out out, and a Vernon Wells pop-up ended the top of the first.
Elvis Andrus singled off Kuroda in the bottom half of the first, but Kuroda got Nelson Cruz to ground into a double play to end the inning. Both Kuroda and Holland got back on track in the second inning, with neither allowing anyone on.
The new "Melk Man" Melky Mesa led off the third inning with a single to right. Mesa later got picked off though, and the inning ended on an Austin Romine line out to centerfield and an Ichiro groundout.
The Rangers offense came alive in the bottom of the third, but Kuroda kept his composure and got out of the minor jam. Jurickson Profar led off the bottom half with a single, followed by a David Murphy groundout. Leonys Martin then hit a liner to Mesa to put him on first and move Murphy to second. Kuroda wouldn't surrender another hit, striking out Ian Kinsler and getting the struggling Andrus to ground out as well.
Kuroda and Holland continued to coast through the game until Holland ran into some trouble in the sixth inning when Romine led off the inning with a double to center. Joe Girardi proceeded to call for what's been driving Yankees fans mad all season--another sacrifice bunt with Ichiro. Lillibridge was allowed to swing away following the bunt, however, and took advantage, knocking in Romine with a double of his own. The one run would be all the Yankees would get in the inning though.
The Yankees added an insurance run in the eighth after Cano doubled to right with one out. Wells followed that up with a single, moving Cano to third. Eduardo Nunez then grounded out to second base, but still pushed across Cano to put another run on the board for the Yankees. Kuroda was done after seven strong innings of work, and David Robertson and Mariano Rivera kept the Rangers offense silent to close the game out for the Yankees.
The Yankees return to home to begin a weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend. First pitch is at 7:05 EST with CC Sabathia on the hill looking to rebound after his last outing in which he got rocked by the Boston Red Sox. Chris Archer will be pitching for the Rays.