Yesterday, it was the pitching that really took away any shot the Yankees had at winning. Today, it was the opposite. Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven good innings, limiting the damage to just two early runs. However, the offense decided it was going to take the day off. Over the course of the game, the Yankees stranded a rather large amount of people as they lost 2-1 to the Royals.
The Royals scored the game's first run in the bottom of the second. After Kuroda got the first two hitters out, Salvador Perez kept the inning alive with a single. Lorenzo Cain then doubled on a ball that was just out of the reach of Jacoby Ellsbury's dive. That scored Perez and made it 1-0. Mike Moustakas then singled on another ball that just managed to drop in. Cain scored, making it 2-0. Alcides Escobar managed to reach on a slow roller, but Kuroda escaped with the Yankees down just two.
After the second inning, the two teams traded scoreless half inning for a while. The Yankees had the customary several RISP fails. (The most notable ones coming in the second and third innings.) Kuroda also settled down after the bad second inning.
The Yankees finally got on the board in the top of the sixth inning. With one out in the inning, Yangervis Solarte doubled down the right field line. He was able to move to third on a passed ball and score when Ichiro Suzuki grounded out. That was all the Yankees would score that inning, but it was now 2-1.
Kuroda went on to pitch another scoreless inning in the seventh. Kuroda went seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks. Adam Warren came in and pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth.
The top of the ninth got off to a decent start when Ichiro singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Brian Roberts wasn't able to do anything as his shallow fly out kept Ichiro at second. The Yankees sent up Mark Teixiera up as a pinch-hitter. Teixeira grounded out, moving Ichiro to third. That left the game up to Brett Gardner. Gardner worked the count full but would up striking out, fittingly stranding Ichiro at third. The Yankees stranded a small army of people over the course of nine innings as the Royals won 2-1.
The Yankees and Royals wrap up their series in Kansas City tomorrow. Vidal Nuno will get the start for the Yankees, while Jason Vargas will go for Kansas City. First pitch will be at 8:10 Eastern.