On a lot of days, the main story of this game would be the struggles of Hiroki Kuroda. And yes, Kuroda was not great today. But he was vastly overshadowed by the suck that was the Yankees' offense. After shutting out the Yankees yesterday, the Indians nearly did it again today. It took until the bottom of the ninth for the Yankees to push a run across. By then, it was far too late and the Indians came away with a 4-1 win.
It didn't take long for the Indians to score the game's first run. Jason Kipnis led off the game with a bloop single. He was able to move to second on a Jose Ramirez ground out and go to third on a wild pitch. Michael Brantley would then punch through a single to score Kipnis.
Two innings later, the Indians added to their lead. This time, Kipnis led off the inning with a double. After Ramirez bunted him over to third, Kipnis scored on a sac fly by Brantley. That made it 2-0.
In the fifth, Kuroda got himself in some more trouble. He hit Ryan Raburn to start the inning. After Kipnis flew out, Ramirez singled. Brantley then grounded into a force out at second, but was quick enough to stay out of the double play. Kuroda then walked Carlos Santana to load the bases and walked Yan Gomes to bring in a run. That second walk was it for Kuroda. He went just 4.2 innings allowing three runs on five hits and four walks. David Huff came in and got Lonnie Chisenhall to ground out to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, the Indians continued to add to their lead. With Huff still pitching, Kipnis again led off the inning with a single. After Ramirez again bunted him over to second, Kipnis stole third. Brantley wound up drawing a walk, prompting Girardi to go back to the bullpen and bring in Shawn Kelley. Kelley struck out Santana but allowed a single to Gomes, making it 4-0.
The top of the eighth saw Bryan Mitchell come in to make his major league debut. After allowing a lead-off walk, Mitchell got the next three outs to keep the score at 4-0. Mitchell pitched another scoreless inning in the ninth cementing a nice debut for him.
After recording just four hits in the first eight innings, the Yankees had one last chance to get something going in the ninth. After Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter went down in order, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a shutout-ending, face-saving home run. That would be the extent of the Yankees' offense as Indians' closer Cody Allen got Mark Teixeira to ground out on the next pitch. The Indians got the 4-1 win and the series win in the Bronx. Today (and yesterday), the Yankees' offense was a sad sack of potatoes.
Anyway, I'm gonna pat myself on the back now:
The Yankees will now head out to Baltimore for a series against the Orioles starting tomorrow. The starting pitchers will be Chris Capuano and Bud Norris.