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It's been a rough handful of games recently, so Joe decided to shake things up for last night's series opener against the Oakland A's, arguably the best team in all of baseball. He had Scott Sizemore in the lineup at third base against the lefty Scott Kazmir, John Ryan Murphy too behind the plate, and for once he had Brendan Ryan starting at shortstop to help GB-heavy starter Hiroki Kuroda. He also had Mark Teixeira back in the lineup after a few more days off to rest his ailing wrist. None of it helped, as the Yankees failed to crack the 3-run barrier for the 5th time in 7 games.
- Naturally it was the untweaked guys who gave the Yankees their first run. Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Teix all singled to maufacture a run against Kazmir in the bottom of the 1st to grab the early 1-0 lead.
- Hirok breezed through the first 3 innings by mixing his pitches well. He was getting called strikes on early offspeed pitches, locating his sinker down in the zone, and got help from Ryan turning a double play to eliminate the 1 hit he gave up.
- Kuroda's sinker started to drive up in the middle innings, however, and the A's cashed in on that in the 5th when Brandon Moss hit a game-tying home run on a 3-2 sinker that was up and over the plate.
- That 1st inning run loomed large for the Yanks because it was all they sniffed of scoring into the 6th. Kazmir struck out the side in the 2nd, dominated Alfonso Soriano, and didn't give up another hit through the 5th.
- When he did flinch again, it was against Teix in the bottom of the 6th. Kazmir missed with a 2-seamer for ball 1, tried to throw another one by Teix, and watched as Teix smashed it to left-center for the go-ahead HR.
- Kuroda handed the game over to Dellin Betances with 2 outs in the 7th. Betances promptly struck out Moss but had an uncharacteristic hiccup in the 8th with a walk and a 2-out double to tie the game. The offense couldn't generate another run late and the game went into extras.
- Moss didn't need long to get over the 7th inning K. He came up to face Adam Warren to lead off the 10th and crushed his second dinger of the night into the right field seats. Warren fell apart from there and the lineup couldn't muster up a rally in the bottom half.
- Teix: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 LOB. Guess the wrist is fine.
- Kuroda: 6.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. For a game in which he only allowed 3 baserunners, it was certainly a stressful night for Hirok. The A's took him deep in a lot of at-bats and hit the ball on the screws for outs more than once. But Hirok was mostly able to locate down when he needed to and get outs and that's all that matters right now.
- Soriano: 0-3, 3 K, 4 LOB. If he was a horse, he'd be on his way to the glue and dogfood factories right now.
- Betances: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. It's been such a long time since Betances had an off-night and those outings have been so few and far between that it already comes as a major shock. I don't know if it was fatigue or a mechanical flaw, but he lost command of his curveball in the 8th and it got him into trouble.
The bleeding needs to stop tonight, but I'm not sure Vidal Nuno pitching at YS3 is the man for the job. He'll face Jesse Chavez.