Results tagged ‘ Jeff Francis ’

Weird inning hurts Kuroda, Yanks back at .500

On the mound at Camden Yards for the Yankees Friday night was the last survivor of their Opening Day rotation, and he gave them what they desperately needed from a starting pitcher — length.

Hiroki Kuroda is still part of the starting unit while former mates Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka have all gone off to the disabled list, some of whom not to return in 2014.

The Yankees departed Cleveland with a fatigued bullpen, so the seven innings Kuroda gave them was heaven sent. Only one of those innings was a clinker, but that was enough to let the Orioles tie the score.

It was a strange fourth inning for Kuroda, who blew the 2-0 lead provided by solo home runs from Brian Roberts in the second and Kelly Johnson in the third off Miguel Gonzalez, who recovered to hold the Yankees scoreless with only three more hits through the eighth.

Kuroda gave up only one hit in the fourth, a bad-hop single past Derek Jeter by Adam Jones, which came after the righthander hit Steve Pearce with a pitch leading off the inning. Kuroda then uncorked two wild pitches, one that advanced the runners and another one out later that send Pearce home. A sacrifice fly by Chris Davis tied the score.

The score stayed that way until the 10th inning when Orioles catcher Nick Hundley lined a single to center field off Adam Warren to score Manny Machado, who had led off the inning with a double. Warren followed Dellin Betances, who was brilliant once again with two hitless innings featuring three more strikeouts. The rookie All-Star’s 84 punchouts are the most for any reliever in the majors.

The Yankees’ offense sputtered as it managed only one hit over the last six innings. The Orioles’ 3-2 victory pushed the third-place Yankees five games behind first-place Baltimore in the American League East as they fell back to .500 at 46-46.

That the game went into extra innings was not what the Yankees wanted by any means, not just two nights after playing 14 innings in Cleveland. It was the Yankees’ fourth extra-inning game in their past 11 games, which is why the relief squad is so weary.

The Yankees added some pitching Friday by recalling Matt Daley from Triple A Scranton and designating Jim Miller for assignment. They also acquired Jeff Francis from Oakland for cash and a player to be named, but the lefthander was not expected to join the team until Saturday. He could be a candidate to start Sunday night in the opening created by Tanaka’s assignment to the DL because of a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Francis, 33, is 70-80 with a 4.95 ERA in a career covering 238 appearances (217 starts) with the Rockies, (2004-10, ’12-13), Royals (2011), Reds (2014) and Athletics (2014). This season he is a combined 0-2 with a 5.89 ERA in 10 appearances (one start) with the Reds and A’s. He last pitched July 2 for Oakland in a 9-3 loss at Detroit.

Rain delay washes out CC

The poor weather that has plagued the Yankees-Rockies series at Coors Field drenched CC Sabathia in Thursday’s finale. A 1-hour, 59-minute rain delay forced Yankees manager Joe Girardi to burn Sabathia, who was on quite a roll before the game was interrupted.

Sabathia had retired 11 consecutive batters beginning with a sacrifice fly by Carlos Gonzalez that tied the score at 1 in the first inning through the fourth. A first-inning single by Troy Tulowitzki, who returned to the lineup after not starting the first two games of the series with a groin injury, was the only hit allowed by Sabathia, who walked one batter and struck out two.

The Yankees had a 2-1 lead when rain forced a halt in play. Vernon Wells, who had three hits in Wednesday night’s 3-2 victory, kept up hit hot hitting with a run-scoring single in the first inning off lefthander Jeff Francis. Chris Nelson, whose return to Denver had been relatively quiet in the first two games (1-for-6), doubled and scored the go-ahead run for the Yankees in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Chris Stewart.

The lengthy delay not only caused the departure of Sabathia but also that of Francis, who came into the game with a 7.27 ERA and might have suffered more at the hands of Yankees hitters. Righthander Adam Warren took to the mound for the Yankees in the bottom of the fifth.

Robinson Cano achieved a milestone in the third inning with his 1,500th career hit, an infield single. He did even more damage when play resumed with his ninth home run of the season, a solo shot to right in the fourth inning off righthander Adam Ottavino, who replaced Francis.

That would be the Yankees’ last hit before Lyle Overbay doubled with two out in the ninth to end a stretch of 12 straight batters retired against two Colorado relievers.

The Yankees’ bullpen did its job as well. Preston Claiborne had another impressive outing as he stranded two Rockies base runners in the sixth and got a double play after giving up a leadoff hit in the seventh. The Rockies reached the rookie for two more singles, however, but for the rescue came David Robertson to strike out dangerous pinch hitter Todd Helton. Mariano Rivera made it 13-for-13 in saves with a scoreless ninth.

The series was characterized by good pitching overall. A total of 11 runs were scored by the two teams combined in the three games. This was not your father’s Coors Field.