Results tagged ‘ Lucas Duda ’

Yanks go down fighting but definitely down

At least the Yankees went down fighting. Trailing by four runs in the top of the ninth inning, they loaded the bases with one out against Mets closer Jeurys Familia and had the sellout crowd of 43,602 at Citi Field pretty nervous. Familia recovered, however, and down the Yankees indeed did go.

The 5-1 loss smarted, and least of all because it came against the Mets. These Subway Series certainly draw the interest of the two New York teams’ fan bases, but as former Yankees manager Joe Torre used to point out at this juncture of the season they are not playing for the same prize, which is the downside of inter-league competition.

What hurt mostly is that the setback corresponded with the Blue Jays winning at home against the Red Sox so that the Yankees fell 4 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays in the American League East. Also, the Yanks were defeated with their ace on the mound, which could mean having Masahiro Tanaka make his next start Wednesday night at Toronto might be a waste of time. A lot can happen over the next four days that could convince manager Joe Girardi to give Tanaka extra rest so that he can be at his sharpest for the wild card game.

With 16 games remaining, it is far too early for the Yankees to concede the division title to Toronto and concentrate on making sure they are the home team in the wild card playoff. But the idea has to have crossed Girardi’s mind.

Tanaka started Friday night on regular rest so that he would be available to pitch in the Toronto series that follows the Subway Series. He pitched well, too, although he could not keep two balls in the yard that ruined his outing. Solo home runs by Lucas Duda off a high splitter in the second inning and Daniel Murphy on a wimpy slider in the sixth were the only real mistakes made all night by Tanaka, who has allowed 24 home runs in 149 innings.

The Yankees got a run in the first inning off Mets rookie Steven Matz on a sacrifice fly by Chris Young before the lefthander settled down and held the Yankees at bay through the sixth. That was Matz’s last inning and one that presented Girardi with a big decision.

With the score 1-1, the Yankees had runners on first and third and two out with 8-hole hitter Brendan Ryan due up and Tanaka in the on-deck circle. On the bench lurked Alex Rodriguez, rendered a bench warmer because the designated hitter is outlawed in the National League. That might have been the perfect time to let A-Rod try to break open the game as a pinch hitter, but Girardi did not think so.

The skipper’s thinking was that there was still an open base, even though it was second base, so Rodriguez could have been pitched around, perhaps even purposely walked and then Girardi would have to lift Tanaka for a pinch hitter. He liked the way his pitcher was throwing and did not want to chance that Rodriguez would be wasted in an at-bat in that circumstance. So he let Ryan hit or at least swing, which he did on the first pitch and grounded out to end the threat.

Murphy’s homer off Tanaka came in the bottom of that inning, and the Mets never looked back. Juan Uribe would have the big pinch-hit at-bat in the game for the Mets and drove an opposite-field, two-run home run to right off Chasen Shreve, who has been struggling of late (six earned runs in his past four innings).

Rodriguez did come up in the pinch, but it was when the Yanks were four runs behind in the ninth with a runner on second and one out. He, yep, walked, just as Girardi feared would happen earlier. A single by Jacoby Ellsbury off Familia’s shin filled the bases, but the Mets’ closer in a non-save situation retired Brett Gardner on a fly to left and struck out Chase Headley.

The NL East-leading Mets reduced their major number for clinching their first division title in nine years to eight, but this was a case of one New York team being hurt more by a loss than the other was fortified by a victory.

Tale of 2 pitchers favors Mets over Yanks

Saturday was a tale of two pitchers at Yankee Stadium. There was just too much Matt Harvey for the Yankees and not enough CC Sabathia.

Harvey, who grew up in Connecticut as a Yankees fan, pitched as if he had lifted the entire Mets team on his shoulders. He came within one out of a complete game and paid the Yankees back for ending his team’s 11-game winning streak Friday night. The 8-2 victory improved Harvey’s record to 4-0 and dropped Sabathia’s to 0-4.

“I didn’t give us a chance at all,” Sabathia said. “I was missing spots. Everything was up. I couldn’t keep the cutter down. I couldn’t find a rhythm.”

CC beat himself up almost as much as the Mets did. One start after a strong, complete-game outing at Detroit albeit a loss, Sabathia was rocked for seven runs and nine hits in five-plus innings as his ERA skyrocketed to 5.96. As he walked off the mound in the sixth inning, the 6-foot-7 lefthander was targeted by boo birds, which did not surprise him.

“You pitch bad, you get booed,” he said. “I gave up a lot of two-strike hits. I couldn’t finish hitters off.”

The killer two-strike hit was probably a single by Wilmer Flores that followed a triple by Juan Lagares in the fourth inning. It was a two-out, two-strike hit that made a 2-1 game 3-1 and saved an at-bat for rookie catcher Kevin Plawecki, who got his first major-league home run to make it 5-1.

That spread seemed enormous considering the way Harvey was pitching. Showing no ill effects in coming back from Tommy John surgery, the Mets ace looked like a young Roger Clemens.

The first Yankees’ run scored as Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a double play in the third inning. Harvey walked Brett Gardner after that and then retired 10 batters in a row before Mark Teixeira smacked his eighth home run of the season and third of this series which concludes Sunday night on ESPN with the Yanks’ Nathan Eovaldi against the Mets’ Jon Niese.

Sabathia has been successful in keeping the ball in the yard in his first three starts. He had given up only one home run in 20 2/3 innings. Yet he was stung for three long balls Saturday. Lucas Duda started the parade with a solo shot in the first inning. The two-run blow by Plawecki climaxed a four-run fourth for the Mets, and Eric Campbell went yard to start the sixth.

“CC struggled with location,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He made mistakes up in the zone. I’m not going to make too much of one start. All starters are going to have clunkers. We’ll get him back to work and get him right.”

The Mets do not have to do that with Harvey. He was at 91 pitches at the start of the ninth inning and got two outs quickly. Teixeira then hit a ground single to right field through the shift. Harvey lost a chance for the complete game when he walked Brian McCann. Mets manager Terry Collins felt that at 107 pitches his stud was done for the day.

It was an unseemly sight for Yankees fans as Mets fans drowned them out at the Stadium. That hurt more than the boos.

Yanks keep Mets silent in their house

What a difference a venue makes. Well, that and pitching. The Yankees and the Mets combined to score 35 runs in the first two games of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium but totaled only five runs in the next two games at Citi Field. After watching the Mets score 21 runs in the Bronx, the Yankees held them scoreless over the full 18 innings in Queens.

The Yanks won both games started by a pair of rookies, although Wednesday night’s winner, Masahiro Tanaka, is a first-year player only in terms of the major leagues. He pitched a gem for his first big-league complete game shutout to stop the Yankees’ four-game losing streak and six-game slide to the Mets over two seasons. That was followed by the major-league debut of Triple A call-up Chase Whitley, who also pitched scoreless ball for 4 2/3 innings and picked up his first major-league hit as well. He did not figure in the decision on his personal record but was a major part of the 1-0 victory.

The winning decision went to Dellin Betances, who put on one helluva show. After getting the final out of the fifth inning to bail out Whitley, Betances faced six more batters over the next two innings and struck out all of them. David Robertson was called on later to get a four-out save. He did not disappoint in retiring the four batters he faced, two on strikeouts.

The Mets also had a starting pitcher make his big-league debut in righthander Jacob deGrom, who earned a spot in the rotation with seven innings of one-run, four-hit, two-walk, six-strikeout pitching. He, too, also got his first hit and the first by any Mets pitcher this year in 65 at-bats. The only run might have been avoided except for a curse that comes with the in-vogue strategy of today’s game, the infield over-shift.

Brian McCann appeared to have grounded into a double play in the seventh inning when he hit a grounder to the right side with one out and one on. With the Mets over-shifting, third baseman David Wright had to make the pivot to first base from second. Not used to making that throw, Wright made a side-armed toss to first that had little muscle and went into the dirt as well. First baseman Lucas Duda could not make the scoop, and McCann was safe at first base. In defense of Duda and Wright, they teamed on a tremendous double play that ended Monday night’s game at the Stadium. They did not strike lightning twice.

That kept the inning alive for Alfonso Soriano, who got the hardest hit ball off deGrom, a double to left-center that sent the heavy-legged McCann huffing and puffing around the bases for a run that proved very precious.

Injuries beginning to mount for Yankees

When losing a game to the Mets is not the worst thing that happened to the Yankees you know they are in trouble. The Mets extended their winning streak over the Yankees to five games with a 9-7 victory Monday night in one of those see-saw games that often favors the club that has last licks.

It did not work that way for the Yankees, although they did put the potential tying runs on base against Kyle Farnsworth before Brian McCann hit a smoking grounder to first base that resulted in a game-ending, 3-5-3 double play. That’s right 5. Third baseman David Wright was covering second base with an over-shift alignment on McCann.

The Yankees blew leads of 4-1 and 7-4 to the Mets, who stroked four home runs, including a two-run shot by Curtis Granderson in his return to Yankee Stadium. Travis d’Arnaud, Eric Young Jr. and Chris Young also went deep for the Mets to trump an early grand slam by Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner. Chris Young followed a broken-bat RBI single by Lucas Duda with a two-run blast to left in the eighth inning that turned the game in the Mets’ direction.

Now the really bad stuff:

Carlos Beltran had to be pinch-hit for in the seventh inning of a one-run game because he hyper-extended his right elbow between innings in the batting cage where most designated hitters spend their time preparing for future at-bats.

Ichiro Suzuki did not take batting practice perhaps for the first time in his career and was unavailable for pinch hitting or running duties due to a jammed right knee and a sore back the result of his attempt fora diving catch Sunday at Milwaukee.

Relief pitcher Shawn Kelley also has back issues and was unavailable out of the bullpen on a night when the relief corps needed major aid.

Mark Teixeira did not start at first base because of weary legs and a tender groin. He was able to pinch hit in the ninth but when he drove a liner into the corner had to settle for a single. Manager Joe Girardi said Tex likely would have made second base had his legs been normal, and that would have taken the double play out of the equation that inning.

CC Sabathia, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of fluid buildup in his right knee, was headed south to visit Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedist, for a second opinion on his condition.

Had enough? Girardi has and is trying hard not to think 2014 will be a continuation of 2013 when a franchise-record 56 players were needed to navigate through a injury-riddled season. Already this year the Yankees have used 36 players, including 19 pitchers (20 if you count infielder Dean Anna, who tossed an inning).

Kelly Johnson and Yangervis Solarte, who began the season in a platoon at third base, triggered a three-run rally in the sixth inning that unlocked a 4-4 score. Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda coughed up a 4-1 lead on a solo home run in the fifth by d’Arnaud and a two-run shot in the sixth by Granderson, who just needed a shot of the Stadium to get back on track.

It was Granderson’s 65th career home run in 910 at-bats at the Stadium, an average of one every 14 at-bats. Grandy hit 63 homers at the Stadium in his four seasons with the Yankees, which accounted for 54.8 percent of his dinger output during his time here. I would have thought that percentage would be higher, but Curtis showed he could hit the long ball elsewhere than the Bronx, which should be encouraging to him.

After a messy second inning in which he gave up the salami to Gardner, Bartolo Colon settled down and pitched three scoreless innings as his team clawed back into the game. It all came apart for Colon in the sixth.

Solarte followed a one-out double by Alfonso Soriano with a single to break the tie. Johnson, playing first base for Teixeira, was credited with a triple on a drive to left-center hat was poorly played by Eric Young Jr. to score Solarte.

Johnson displayed questionable judgment in trying to score on Brian Roberts’ grounder to the left side against a drawn-in infield and was thrown out in a rundown. Gardner sent Colon packing with a dart of a single to right field that put Roberts on third. On a steal attempt by Gardner, d’Arnaud threw the ball into center field which allowed Roberts to score.

Kuroda came out of the game at the start of the seventh. Alfredo Aceves, a candidate to start Thursday night, came in on his throw day but was not sharp. He walked d’Arnaud to start the inning and one out later gave up Eric Young Jr.’s first home run of the season that got the Mets back to a run.

Daniel Murphy singled after Young’s homer. Aceves got a big out by catching Wright looking at a slider for a called third strike. With Granderson at bat and a 2-2 count, Murphy tried to steal second and was thrown out by McCann. Granderson is strikeout prone, but it did not make much sense to me to run Murphy there. It was a nice break for the Yankees on a night when not much else went their way.

Mo’s 1st blown save comes in Citi Field finale

Was that any way to treat a legend?

The Mets were nice and friendly before the game by giving Mariano Rivera gifts for his farewell appearance at Citi Field and even having him throw out the ceremonial first pitch. There were even cheers from the crowd when Mo entered the game in the bottom of the ninth to try and nail down his 19th consecutive save and give Hiroki Kuroda a deserved winning decision.

Mets players had other ideas, however, and struck hard and quickly against the game’s greatest closer. The man who threw out the first pitch ended up with his first loss of the season with the last one, off of which Lucas Duda lined a single to right field that gave the Mets their second 2-1 victory in a row over the Yankees.

There was a suddenness to all this that is not often seen against Rivera. I do not remember the last time I saw him not get a single out in an appearance. Daniel Murphy, who was frustrated throughout these two games because of Brett Gardner’s defense, got the ball rolling in the ninth with a double down the left-field line.

David Wright followed by fighting off an inside cutter and getting the ball into center field for a single that scored Murphy with the tying run that stuck Mo with his first blown save of year. Rivera also made an uncustomary mistake by not backing up the plate on Gardner’s throw home. The ball got by catcher Chris Stewart, which allowed Wright to advance into scoring position at second base. Duda’s hit came three pitches later off another inside cutter.

After being ejected for arguing an umpire’s call in the sixth inning, Mets manager Terry Collins watched the rest of the game from a video room near the clubhouse. With tapes of Rivera on the screen, Collins told Mets players who came into the room that they should be aware that Mo will be around the plate and they needed to stay inside with their swings, not to think long ball. Very sound advice, it turned out.

Rivera told reporters that his location was fine and gave the Mets credit for getting good swings against him. In a matter of minutes, the Mets stunned the game’s greatest closer and kept their phenom, Matt Harvey, from suffering his first loss of the season

Anticipated pitching duels do not always materialize. Tuesday night’s Round 2 of the Subway Series lived up to its billing, however.

Although attention from ESPN to the national television audience centered on Harvey, Kuroda stole the spotlight. Do not misunderstand me. Harvey was brilliant and showed that he has been worth all the accolades he has received. This kid is clearly the goods.

But as Yankees fans can attest, so is Kuroda. With CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes having uneven seasons and Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova having done time on the disabled list, Kuroda has been the most dependable starter in the Yanks’ rotation. He is no stranger to the Mets, whom he faced often in his National League years with the Dodgers, but he has been a much different pitcher in his games against them for the Yankees.

Kuroda was 1-5 with a 5.75 ERA against the Mets in seven starts with the Dodgers. Since taking part in the Subway Series the past two years, Kuroda has yet to give up a run to the Mets over 14 innings. The righthander scattered four singles, did not walk a batter and struck out seven in his seven innings of work. Nearly a year ago, Kuroda pitched seven shutout innings and allowed one hit in beating the Mets, 9-1, June 8, 2012 at Yankee Stadium.

Harvey made only one real mistake in his eight innings – a changeup that stayed up for Lyle Overbay, who singled home the Yankees’ only run. It was earned but somewhat tainted since Gardner got to second base after his leadoff single on an error by right fielder Marlon Byrd. Harvey allowed six hits, all singles, with no walks and 10 strikeouts.

For the second straight night, Gardner lent his glove hand in support of his pitcher. Once again, Murphy was the victim. Gardner robbed the Mets’ second baseman of a two-run home run in Monday night’s 2-1 Mets victory. The larceny this time was not as costly, but it did likely cost the Mets one run.

In the sixth inning with Ruben Tejada on first base after reaching on an error by Robinson Cano, Murphy launched a drive to left-center where Gardner raced over and made a lunging, one-handed grab to ruin a bid for an extra-base hit. Tejada almost certainly would have scored had the ball not been caught. Tejada moved to second on a passed ball by Stewart, but Kuroda teamed with shortstop Reid Brignac for an inning-ending pickoff, which was hotly contested by Collins, who got the boot.

Murphy would get revenge on Gardner in the bottom of the ninth by beating his throw home to give the Mets life and head the Yankees toward their first three-game losing streak of the season. The Subway Series moves to the Bronx Wednesday night. It has been a bumpy ride so far.

Mets prevail in rare bullpen failure by Yankees

Wasn’t the pitchers’ duel in this series supposed to be Tuesday night? That is when the Yankees’ Hiroki Kuroda goes up against the Mets’ prized rookie, Matt Harvey. Subway Series fans got a pitchers’ duel in Monday night’s opener as an appetizer with the Yankees’ Phil Hughes and the Mets’ Jonathan Niese matching zeroes for five innings.

The spell was broken in the sixth by Brett Gardner, who helped the Yankees take the lead and then kept them in front in the bottom half of the inning. Gardner led off the sixth against Niese with a slicing drive down the left field line where Lucas Duda attempted a diving catch but could not get there in time. As the ball rolled behind him, Gardner put on the jets and ended up with a triple.

Jayson Nix, playing the shortstop position that Derek Jeter had previously manned in all previous Subway Series, delivered Gardner to the plate with his second hit of the game, a single to center. Niese recovered nicely by getting Robinson Cano to ground into a double play.

Gardner got into the act again in the bottom of the sixth. With Niese, who had two of the four hits off Hughes, on first base and two out, Daniel Murphy hit a drive to deep left-center where Gardner made a leaping catch to rob the second baseman of a home run that would have given the Mets the lead. Gardner’s glove was above the orange line atop the fence that signals a home run when he gloved Murphy’s clout.

Hughes’ good fortune ended at the top of the seventh, however, when David Wright, who had tripled with two out in the first inning but was stranded, drove a 2-2 fastball to left-center for his seventh home run that tied the score. Gardner would have needed a crane to stop that one.

Hughes and Niese both came out of the game after the seventh inning and had similar pitching lines in terrific efforts that did not warrant no-decisions. Hughes allowed one run and four hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Niese gave up one run, eight hits and one walk with four K’s. Kuroda and Harvey would love to post such lines Tuesday night.

This game ended up in the bullpen, which is usually to the Yankees’ advantage, but the Mets’ 2-1 victory was at the expense of David Robertson, who had a shaky eighth inning, as the Yankees lost for the first time this season in 23 games in which they had the lead after the sixth. D-Rob gave up a one-out double to Mike Baxter and compounded the situation by walking pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin.

A passed ball by Chris Stewart advanced the runners to second and third. The Yankees got the second out when Baxter tried to score on a contact play and was thrown out by Robinson Cano on a close call at the plate. Murphy, hoping to get another important at-bat after losing a homer to Gardner, knocked in the deciding run with a line single to center.

As he broke from the box, Murphy tossed his bat in a sort of tomahawk fashion. The Mets have had issues this year with players flipping bats, notably Valdespin, who has irritated some clubs.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi defused the situation by saying, “I don’t have an issue with it. It’s an emotional game. I would only have a problem with it if a player is trying to show up a team.”

Andy recovers but hurt by 1st-inning 5-spot

The first inning Friday night at Citi Field was a stunning development for Andy Pettitte, who allowed five runs, which was the total he had yielded in his previous two starts covering 13 innings. Both were no-decisions, by the way, which Andy might have settled for again if the Yankees could get back in the game.

The five spot in the first put the Yankees in a decided hole and not surprisingly all the runs were scored after two were out. This has been a Mets specialty this season. They lead the majors in two-out runs. Their first-inning uprising brought the season total of two-out runs to 155.

The Mets had the bases loaded with one out, but it looked like Pettitte would work out of danger when he got Lucas Duda on a fly to shallow center. Justin Turner turned back a 1-2 sinker for a single through the middle that scored two runs. The real killer blow came on the next pitch, a hanging slider on Pettitte’s first delivery to Ike Davis, who popped a three-run home run to right field.

That was a crusher for Pettitte, who allowed insult to injury by later in the inning giving up a single to opposing pitcher Jonathan Niese, although Pettitte would return the favor the next inning.

Two weekends ago when the Yankees were out-homering the Mets, 8-2, in the Bombers’ sweep of the first round of the Subway Series, a lot of people around the Mets complained about the cheapness of home runs to right field at Yankee Stadium. Well, the homer by Davis was just as much a bargain-basement job.

In fact, the ball was almost caught by Nick Swisher. The right fielder leaped at the wall near the 330-foot mark for the ball that hit against the thumb of his glove and fell over the fence when his glove hand made contact with the top of the wall. So who’s talking cheap now?

Davis, who has shown recent signs of coming out of a season-long slump, was hitting only .121 at Citi Field this year before that at-bat but over his past 12 games overall has hit .382 with three home runs and 14 RBI in 34 at-bats. As horrid as Davis has been this year, his 36 RBI are only three behind David Wright, who is hitting over .350.

It was also Davis’ first career at-bat against Pettitte, who was retired last year. Davis broke into the majors in 2010 but did not face Pettitte. Mets manager Terry Collins loaded his lineup with right-handed hitters against the lefty Pettitte except for Davis, Duda and, of course, Niese. Andy caught a break with Jason Bay on the disabled list because of a concussion. Bay is a .400 hitter in 35 career at-bats against Pettitte.

Before the series, Collins said Citi Field would play different from Yankee Stadium as far as home runs were concerned. That was probably wishful thinking. Citi Field was an airline hangar for three seasons before the Mets got wise and brought in the fences the past offseason to make the yard fairer to hitters. It is by no means a bandbox, but the Yankees have proved they can hit home runs anywhere.

This was demonstrated by Alex Rodriguez, who got the Yankees on the board in the sixth by driving a 1-1 cutter into the Big Apple well over the 408-foot mark in straightaway center for his 12th home run of the season and career No. 641.

Leading off the seventh, Andruw Jones, who gave the Mets fits for years in his heyday with the Braves, launched his seventh home run into the left field stands beyond the old dimensions. Jones also made one of the fielding gems of the night, a diving catch in left field in the seventh that became a double play as Wright, who had doubled in a run, kept running and was forced out at second.

Pettitte was lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh after having settled in nicely after the first-inning debacle. He pitched five scoreless innings after that with only two hits allowed, no walks and six strikeouts.

Yankees turn tables on Santana

Johnny Vander Meer’s record of consecutive no-hitters in 1938 remains intact. Mets lefthander Johan Santana in his first start since his historic no-hitter seven days ago at Citi Field was quite the contrary Friday night at Yankee Stadium as the Yankees proved he was very hittable to open the Subway Series with a 9-1 victory.

They flat out teed off against Santana, who last week ended a 51-season drought of no-hitters in the Mets’ history. Robinson Cano ended Santana’s bid for a back-to-back no-hitter by following a leadoff walk to Alex Rodriguez with a two-run home run off a first-pitch fastball. But that was nothing compared to what happened the next inning to Santana, who had a scoreless string of 19 innings ended.

Once again with A-Rod on first base, this time after a two-out single, Cano jumped on the first pitch, a hanging slider, and smoked another home run. Two bombs and four RBI on two swings of the bat from the Yankees’ second baseman. The barrage continued when Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones also connected with long home runs to left field.

It was the first case of back-to-back-to-back home runs for the Yankees since the same three players connected in order in the second inning of the night game of a split-admission doubleheader Aug. 28 last year at Baltimore. It was the first time Santana gave up three homers in a row and the fourth time he allowed four homers in a game.

It was Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda who flirted with a no-hitter over the first five innings instead of Santana. Kuroda was perfect until one out into the fourth when Derek Jeter botched a grounder by Josh Thole for an error. Kuroda erased that blemish by getting David Wright to ground into a double play. Wright’s bat shattered in such a manner that the top half of the bat landed just to the right of Rodriguez as he was fielding the grounder, which made the play all that much more difficult.

Kuroda had still pitched to the minimum number of batters two outs into the sixth when his no-hit big came to an end as shortstop Omar Quintanilla, the 9-hole hitter, drove a liner to left-center for a two-out double. The sellout crowd of 48,566 accorded Kuroda an appreciative ovation, and he reciprocated by retiring Kirk Nieuwenhuis on a grounder to first base.

Quintanilla’s hit was the only one off Kuroda, whose final out looked like a hockey kick save. Daniel Murphy’s liner to the mound struck Kuroda on the left ankle, shot into the air towards third base and was gloved by Rodriguez for a painful out. Kuroda came out of the game, which was the bad news. The good news was that x-rays were negative, the only thing negative about the night for Kuroda.

With the seven-inning, one-hitter, Kuroda over his past three starts is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA and has lowered his season ERA from 4.56 to 3.46. The righthander has allowed two earned runs, 12 hits and three walks with 14 strikeouts in 22 innings.

The Yankees even had some hits with runners in scoring position – a ground-rule double by Swisher and a single by Jones in the three-run seventh. The Mets didn’t get on the board until two outs in the ninth on a double by Lucas Duda, only their second hit.

Santana was done after five innings – real done – with six earned runs, seven hits (including four home runs) and one walk with five strikeouts. What a difference a week makes. Mets manager Terry Collins blamed himself for giving Santana two extra days’ rest out of concern for the 134-pitch workload in the no-hitter for a pitcher in the season after serious shoulder surgery.

“We erred on the side of caution, and it cost us a game,” Collins said. “He wasn’t as sharp after the layoff. He left a lot of pitches up, especially the two to Cano.”

But it wasn’t so much about Santana’s failure as it was about Kuroda’s success. While with the Dodgers, Kuroda had problems against the Mets (1-5, 5.75 ERA). The only problem Friday night was being forced out of the game. “Absolutely,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said when asked if Kuroda would have come out for the eighth inning if not for the ankle injury.

“He had great command of his slider and curve and moved his fastball up and down,” Girardi said. “In short, he pitched.”