NEW YORK -- Where would the Yankees be without Hiroki Kuroda?
Kuroda continued his blistering stretch by dominating the Los Angeles Angels in the Yankees' 2-1 win Monday night at Yankee Stadium. Kuroda threw eight scoreless innings and gave up just three hits while striking out seven.
Kuroda the Hiro: Kuroda turned in another brilliant start against the Angels and has now held opponents scoreless in five of his past seven outings. Kuroda has surrendered just five earned runs over his past 48 innings; he's 4-1 during that stretch. He allowed only four Angels to reach base, and they were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position against him. He improved to 11-7.
No Mo: Mariano Rivera has blown his past three save chances and did not enter in the ninth inning Monday after throwing 23 pitches on Sunday. The fans chanted "We want Mo!" throughout the inning. David Robertson, Rivera's heir apparent, closed out the game, but not without some issues. The Angels loaded the bases with one out, but he retired Mark Trumbo and Chris Nelson.
Love-hate relationship: More hate than love for Alex Rodriguez on Monday. While there was a mixture of cheers and boos once again for the third baseman, who went 1-for-3, Rodriguez was heavily booed after hitting into consecutive double plays. Rodriguez singled in his first at-bat, and, shortly after, in a moment of comedy, he stopped running to second on a stolen-base attempt when he realized he was toast. Rodriguez attempted to elude shortstop Erick Aybar but couldn't.
Granderson owns this guy: Curtis Granderson hit a solo shot in the seventh to make it 2-0 and now has three career homers off Angels starter Garrett Richards. He's 4-for-6 in his career against Richards. It marked Granderson's third homer of the season and just his fifth RBI. He batted 2-for-3.
Carrying the team: Brett Gardner, who finished 1-for-4, continued to be a run-producing machine when he drove in the team's first run in the third inning to put the Yankees up 1-0. Gardner had the walk-off single on Friday night and blasted a walk-off homer on Sunday against the Tigers.