Hiroki Kuroda pitched a masterpiece. Kuroda didn't even allow a Baltimore Oriole to reach second until the ninth inning. The O's had just five hits and no walks.
The New York Yankees are back over .500 at 6-5, a game back of the first-place Boston Red Sox in the AL East. They have won their second consecutive series.
KURODA'S FIRST GEM: Prior to Kuroda's master performance on Sunday night, Kuroda had been only OK in 2013, going 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in his first two starts. In his previous outing in Cleveland, Kuroda seemed to find something after giving up three runs in the first. He shut down the Indians for his final 4 1/3. He now has 13 1/3 scoreless innings.
SCORELESS 'TIL THE FIFTH: Not only did Kuroda and Wei-Yin Chen not allow a run through the first four innings, they didn't even let a runner reach second.
But in the bottom of the fifth, Brennan Boesch and Francisco Cervelli led off with singles, ending that streak. After being moved over on a fly ball from Lyle Overbay, Jayson Nix did his job, lining a ball deep enough the other way for a sac fly and the game's first run.
BOMBER BRETT:Following Nix, Brett Gardner hit an absolute bomb off Chen that pinged near the top of the right-field pole. The two-run shot made it 3-0 Yankees. It was Gardner's second of the season.
DOUBLE THE FUN: In the eighth, after a Kevin Youkilis one-out error, Nate McLouth hit a hard shot to Nix at short. Nix's flip to Cano was a little off target and Cano barehanded the ball before firing to first for two. It ended the inning and made sure no Oriole reached second.
NIXED UP: In the ninth, Jayson Nix's error and a fielder's choice allowed Baltimore to finally have a runner in scoring position. On his 113th pitch of the night, Kuroda got Chris Davis swinging to end it.
ON DECK: Matt Ehalt and I will have all the news and views from the clubhouse. I'll be writing about Kuroda, while Matt will handle all the other details from the Yanks' win.
IN THE HOLE: The Yankees are off on Monday. On Tuesday, the Arizona Diamondbacks come to the Yankee Stadium. The pitching matchups are Ivan Nova (0-1, 7.71) vs. Brandon McCarthy (0-1, 7.77); Wednesday, CC Sabathia (2-1, 2.25) vs. Wade Miley (2-0, 2.13); Thursday, Phil Hughes (0-2, 10.29) vs. Patrick Cohen (2-0, 1.50).
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: When the Yankees signed Kuroda before last year, did you think he would be this good?