It’s a shame that the Yankees couldn’t hold off the surging tide that is Oakland right now because Hiroki Kuroda was actually pretty on point tonight and left the game while the Yankees were still in line for the win. But right now, the Athletics are on the rise and the Yankees seem to be hitting some speed bumps.
I’m guessing the hour and 12 minute rain delay at the prior to the game didn’t do them any favors either. And I’m guessing book-ending the game with an extra inning wasn’t exactly the cap on a marvelous day that they hoped for.
Anyway, Kuroda’s outing included 6.2 innings and 93 pitches, just 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts. The sole run he allowed was a solo home run in the 5th inning. Kuroda was back to being Kuroda, and the Yankees offense was big enough to set him up for the win. In the 1st, Gardner singled and then scored on Mark Teixeira’s single. And then Teixeira got a solo home run in the 6th inning. So the Yankees were up 2-1 as Kuroda stepped off the mound, clinging to a win.
So they turned to Dellin Betances to finish the 7th inning, which he did quickly. In the 8th, however, Betances did something so rare for him — he struggled. With 2 outs, he walked a batter (another rarity for him) and that runner scored on a long double and allowed Oakland to tie up the game, and Betances earned himself a blown save.
Robertson’s 9th was rather flawless, but it’s too bad it was wasted on a tied game. The Yankees couldn’t come up with much in the bottom of the 9th, so the game went into extra innings. And whoever was still left at Yankee Stadium on this late night, settled in hoping for a Yankee walk-off that would never come.
Adam Warren was sent up in the 10th, and Warren’s night came unraveled pretty quickly. He allowed a lead-off solo home run to push the Athletics into the lead. Then a batter walked and then scored on a double. A fly out kept the runner in place, but he scored on a single. And suddenly, the A’s were up 5-2 over the Yankees. They brought in Claiborne to close out the 10th, and the Yankees couldn’t come up with that needed offense to make up the difference.
Of course, the best part of tonight’s game is that Mark Teixeira was back in the line-up and playing first base like only Teixeira can. The doctor cleared his rested wrist for return to normal. Michael Pineda was placed on the 60-day DL, and Scott Sizemore was recalled and placed in tonight’s line-up. It was good to have both Teixeira and Sizemore back on the field again, as their contributions defensively (and Teixeira’s offensively) were crucial to keeping the A’s from doing damage under Kuroda’s watch. It’s too bad that didn’t carry over towards the end with everyone else.
Also, Masahiro Tanaka was named AL Pitcher of the Month for May for his outstanding show of force during last month’s six appearances. Currently, Tanaka is riding a 5-1 win-loss record and a 1.88 ERA for his rookie 2014 season. He continues to impress every team, every scout, every broadcaster, and every fan with his high-capacity for excellence. And that in itself is a Yankee trait. It’s good to know he’s on “our side” of this game.