Game Two: Orioles 7 Yanks 1
NEW YORK — It went without saying that Orioles starter Brian Matusz, who entered Tuesday’s game against the Yankees with the longest active losing streak in the Majors, badly needed a win. And manager Buck Showalter — one victory shy of the prestigious 1,000-win mark — could’ve used one, too, if only to appease his two children, who had made Showalter aware of the pending milestone in the first place.
So it was only fitting that Matusz — the O’s most beleaguered starter — would toss his best start since 2010, using homers from Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy to topple New York, 7-1, and solidify Showalter’s spot in the history books.
Tuesday’s win was the Orioles’ first in five games this season against their American League East rivals from the Bronx, granting Matusz his first victory since June 6, 2011, and crowning Showalter as the 58th manager to reach the four-digit mark in wins. It was a celebration the no-nonsense Showalter accepted begrudgingly, as first-base coach Wayne Kirby started calling on all of the O’s players to meet at home plate, pushing their 55-year-old manager right where he belonged — front and center.
“Buck wanted no part of it,” shortstop J.J. Hardy, who delivered a go-ahead two-run homer in the third inning, said of the postgame celebration. “He didn’t want all of the attention; he was like, ‘Let’s go, let’s go.’ We finally got him in the middle of the circle, and it was a pretty cool moment.”
“That’s embarrassing, but I can’t tell you it doesn’t tug at your heart a little,” said Showalter, who was also treated to a Champagne toast in the visitors’ clubhouse before coming out to meet with the media. “It’s been an honor to manage this long, with so many good people — general managers and owners and people who give you an opportunity. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and the focus being off it a little, but I’m very appreciative of the players. They made me feel very young tonight, even though I’m an old goat.”….Read More
Box Score and Highlights (Giraldi on Hughes):
After a while one gets tired of Giraldi making excuses for Hughes. The ball is not moving, that’s the problem! Hughes keeps trying to spot his pitches and the opposition is taking batting practice with him! It’s obvious, just pitch!
Game One: Yanks 2 Orioles 1
NEW YORK — The trusting relationship between Hiroki Kuroda and Russell Martin was polished during their days together in Los Angeles, and it paid off in the form of a key play on Monday at Yankee Stadium.
Martin shoveled a strike to Kuroda at the plate after a seventh-inning splitter bounced away from the catcher, and the pitcher deftly covered the plate to slap a run-saving tag on the Orioles’ Nick Markakis as the Yankees held on for a 2-1 victory.
“The most important thing is that we got a win,” said Kuroda, who won his second straight start. “I’m satisfied with that. I had complete trust in Russell.”
Kuroda looked down at his right hand to check for an injury after Markakis’ hard slide into home, but the right-hander and his former Dodgers batterymate had already survived their toughest scrape of the night.
Backed by Eric Chavez’s second inning two-run homer, Kuroda held Baltimore to a run on four hits in seven innings. David Robertson and Mariano Rivera finished the job to preserve the win as the Yankees improved to 4-0 against the Orioles this season.
For Kuroda (2-3), the victory snapped an unwelcome trend he had established of following a good start with a subpar effort. Kuroda, like CC Sabathia a day prior, gave the Yankees the type of deep and winning effort they have craved from their rotation.
“I thought he pitched effectively inside,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I thought his slider was good tonight. The only walk that he had scored. He attacked the zone all night, and I thought he was effective.”
Kuroda cruised through the first six innings, limiting Baltimore to just Chris Davis’ second-inning sacrifice fly, but the Orioles cobbled together a rally in the seventh, as Markakis singled and Kuroda hit Matt Wieters on the right knee with a pitch.
A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, and after a strikeout, Kuroda uncorked another splitter that skipped away, allowing Markakis to break for the plate. Martin recovered and tossed to Kuroda, who slapped the tag on Markakis.
“I didn’t think the ball was that far, but they were being aggressive right there,” Martin said. “Hiro got off the mound really quick and gave me a good target, and I just laid it in there for him.”
Chavez, playing third base, said that he was somewhat surprised that Markakis moved immediately, but Markakis said he needed to press the envelope in a one-run game.
“It’s not like we had 10 hits, 12 hits; a lot played into the situation,” Markakis said. “I was just looking to score [and] tie the game. I thought I had a good jump. The ball didn’t go as far as I wanted to. Nine times out of 10, I’m going to try it.”
Kuroda was done for the night, having walked one and struck out three en route to his second win in three Yankee Stadium starts. The right-hander threw 52 of 87 pitches for strikes, and lowered his ERA to 3.69…..Read More
Box Score and Highlights: