Hiroki Kuroda started off his second half by performing just as he did for much of the first half. And this time he was the recipient of some run support. Kuroda threw seven innings, allowing five hits and one walk, while striking out four. And with the offense adding some runs to that, the Yankees came away with a 5-2 win.
Both teams failed to capitalize on early run-scoring chances. The Red Sox's came in the top of the first. With one out, Daniel Nava was hit by a pitch. He nearly came around to score on David Ortiz's single, but he stumbled a little and Vernon Wells' throw got him at the plate for the third out.
In the top of the second, the Yankees had a chance of their own. Wells hit a one-out single. Two batters later, with two outs, Eduardo Nunez doubled. Wells couldn't score on the play, having to stop at third. Chris Stewart ended up just grounding out to end the inning. They wasted another chance two innings later. Lyle Overbay hit a one-out double, but both Wells and Travis Hafner did nothing and stranded Overbay.
In the fifth inning, the Yankees finally pushed across a run on their third major chance. Nunez led off with a single, stole second, and moved to third on a bunt by Stewart. Luis Cruz came up and grounded one to short. Nunez tried going home, but was easily out at the plate. However, Cruz reached first on the fielder's choice. Nunez's gamble looked especially bad when John Lackey threw a wild pitch. Nevertheless, Cruz moved to second on the wild pitch. Because of that, the Yankees were able to get a run anyway, when Gardner singled. Cruz scored and the Yankees took a 1-0 lead.
After the first inning, Kuroda retired the next nine Red Sox hitters, but got into trouble in the fifth. Mike Carp and Jonny Gomes led off with two straight singles. Jarrod Saltalamacchia then struck out, and Stephen Drew grounded out, but moved the runners up a base with two outs. With Jose Iglesias batting, a Kuroda pitch got past Stewart. Carp went home, but Kuroda got to the plate and Stewart got he ball to him in enough time to tag out Carp to end the inning. The Yankees and Kuroda got out of the inning with the lead still intact.
Kuroda got into and out of another difficult spot in the sixth and was rewarded with a couple more runs to work with. Nunez led off the seventh with a double. Stewart then grounded out but Nunez was able to move over to third. Cruz managed to drop a single into center, scoring Nunez to make it 2-0. Gardner then singled, putting two on with one out. Ichiro Suzuki grounded into a force out at second, but that put runners on the corners. Robinson Cano then singled to score Cruz and Overbay then got his third hit of the day. He lined one off the Green Monster which scored Ichiro. Wells grounded out to end the inning but the Yankees lead was up to 4-0.
However, the Red Sox cut into that lead in the bottom half of the seventh. Ortiz led off with a single. Carp hit one off the Monster. Ortiz moved to third and Carp slid into second with a double after Cano couldn't handle the throw in from the outfield. Gomes popped out to center for the first out but Ortiz tagged up and scored to make it 4-1. Saltalamacchia grounded one to Kuroda for the second out, but Carp moved over to third. With Stephen Drew hitting, Kuroda threw a wild pitch to allow Carp to score, cutting the lead to 4-2. Kuroda then walked Drew to keep the inning alive. But Iglesias lined out to Cano to finally end the inning.
David Robertson came in for Kuroda in the eighth inning. Nava hit a one out single to bring up Dustin Pedroia. Chris Stewart then stepped up and made a phenomenal play to end the inning. Pedroia popped one up into foul territory. Stewart had to go into the stands to make the play, but he did and made the catch. Nava then tried to move over to second but Stewart made a great throw to get him out. That ended the inning with the Yankees lead still intact.
They added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Cruz reached again when he was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Gardner then got on as well, when Pedroia couldn't handle the slow roller hit to him. Ichiro was at bat when Cruz stole third. Ichiro popped out in the infield, which did nothing, but Cano then flied out to center. It was deep enough to score Cruz, making it 5-2. Gardner was thrown out trying to steal second, which ended the inning, but Mariano Rivera had an extra run to work with.
Ortiz flied out in foul territory on the first pitch Mo threw for out number one. Carp reached when he blooped one just over Cano's head. Rivera then struck out Gomes for out number two. Mo struck out Saltalamacchia, as well, to end the game and give the Yankees the 5-2 win.
The Yankees and Red Sox close out their series tomorrow night at 8:05 eastern. CC Sabathia gets the start for the Yankees and Ryan Dempster goes for the Red Sox.