(You won't like John Gibbons when he's angry. Courtesy of the AP)
After a quick 3-3 AL East road trip, the Yankees returned home last night to host one of their recent road opponents, the Toronto Blue Jays. And after getting schooled by a righty their last night in Tampa, they were once again facing a lefty and a familiar one in Mark Buehrle. Life's never easy in the AL East and it wasn't easy last night with Hiroki Kuroda on the mound, who looked very shaky in his first few innings. But surprise, surprise, the offense (surprisingly) woke up just enough against a lefty to get the job done.
- Shaky might be an understatement for Kuroda early. He was leaving a lot of pitches up and wasn't commanding his offspeed stuff. He gave up 4 hits in the 1st, 2 in the 2nd, and 3 runs on HR by Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie.
- That deficit didn't last long, though, thanks to a return of the Yankee power bats. Vernon Wells clubbed a solo HR to center in the bottom of the 2nd, Robinson Cano smashed a 2-out, 3-run homer to take the lead in the 3rd, and Francisco Cervelli hit a solo shot in the 4th to pad that lead to 5-3.
- As bad as Kuroda looked in the first 2 innings, he got it together quickly after that. Kuroda got through the next 4 innings scoreless, retiring the last 7 batters he faced and 13 of the last 14. It wasn't pretty, but 3 runs in 6 innings isn't bad at all.
- The offense was never able to add to that lead, however, leaving multiple runners on base in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings. Plenty of chances, just never got that one big insurance hit.
- Strange play in the bottom of the 7th, when the umps reversed an out call on a Ben Francisco bunt attempt, saying Encarnacion was bobbling the ball. Francisco might have been safe anyway, but their was no bobble and that's never a call you see overturned. John Gibbons came out to argue and predictably (and entertainingly) got run.
- Turns out those insurance runs weren't needed. Joba and D-Rob handled the 8th without issue and the ageless Mariano Rivera locked down a 1-2-3 9th for the win.
- Cano: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 3 LOB. Only had 1 hit and he only needed 1 hit. Cano's 3-run jack in the 3rd was absolutely crushed and crushed on a pitch that probably shouldn't have been crushed like that. Scary good.
- Mo: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. 13 cutters, 9 strikes, 1 broken bat, 3 outs. Exit light, enter night.
- Francisco: 1-4, 1 K, 3 LOB. No, Ben, the fakeass bunt single doesn't count. You still suck and I'm really starting to dislike you.
- Lyle Overbay: 0-4, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 4 LOB. Sneaky starting to slip down into nothingness offensively. The Yanks could really use Youkilis back in the lineup.
A win is always a good way to start off a 4-game home series. The boys will look to make it two in a row tonight when Ivan Nova and Josh Johnson take the ball for their clubs.