Another hard-luck loss for Kuroda
What more could be asked of Hiroki Kuroda? He has been the Yankees’ best starting pitcher this year and deserves a better record than 10-7, which it fell to Tuesday night after losing yet another close game. This time, it was 3-2 to the White Sox, who ended a 10-game losing streak Monday night and did something Tuesday night that the Yankees have not done since July 11 and 12 – win two games in a row.
The Yankees have lost 13 of 19 games since then and are averaging merely 2.94 runs per game in that stretch. That leaves a tiny margin for error for pitchers, even one such as Kuroda who has a 2.45 ERA. The Yankees have failed to score three runs in 10 of his 23 starts.
White Sox starter Chris Sale knows all about lack of run support. The 2.47 runs per start he has gotten is the poorest in the major leagues. The lefthander pitched into the eighth inning and got the victory to improve his record to 7-11 despite a 2.83 ERA. This was only his second victory in 12 starts since May 17. He was a bit erratic (four walks, one hit batter). The only run he allowed came on a two-base wild pitch in the first inning. Alfonso Soriano, who scored on that wild pitch, had a good night with a single and two fine defensive plays in left field. The Yankees did not get another run until the ninth on a two-out single by Brett Gardner.
In any one-run loss, a missed scoring opportunity becomes magnified, and that was the case in the third when Gardner was thrown out at the plate on an errant call by plate umpire Alan Porter. Had Gardner slid instead of trying to score standing up, would Porter have made a different ruling? We’ll never know.
The White Sox got all their runs off Kuroda after two were out. Conor Gillaspie singled home Adam Dunn from second base in the fourth inning that tied the score. A wild pitch by Kuroda put Dunn in scoring position. Paul Konerko, one of the slowest runners in the league, averted an around-the-horn double play in the sixth as the go-ahead run scored. Alejandro De Aza won an eight-pitch at-bat in the seventh and doubled in what proved the deciding run.
The Yankees dropped to 2-5 on the trip and have gone eight series without winning one. Since they last won a series July 5-7 against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees have lost five series and split three.