Bronx, NY—The Yanks prevented former manager Buck Showalter from gaining hos 1,000th win as a major league manager as the Yanks defeated the Orioles, 2-1, in the opening game of a three-game series on Monday night. The Yankees victory broke the Orioles streak of 57 straight wins when holding the opposing team to two runs or fewer.
The two starters, Jason Hammel of the Orioles and Hiroki Kuroda of the Yanks, hooked up in an outstanding and evenly matched pitching duel. Each of the hurlers are in the first year with a new club.
Hammel, undefeated after his first four starts of the season, has not given up more than two runs in a 2012 starting assignment.
On Monday night, he surrendered two runs on a two-run homer by Eric Chavez in the fourth. Chavez was making a rare start at third base in place of Alex Rodriguez, who was the designated hitter. In his six innings on the mound, Hammel gave up only five hits and two walks.
The 6-6 righty did not have much success in his previous 11 games against the Yanks, going 1-2 with an ERA of 7.45.
Kuroda pitched seven innings, yielding only four hits and one run. Yankee manager Joe Girardi was very pleased with his starter’s performance, “I thought he pitched effectively inside. He attacked the zone.’ Kuroda commented on the game, “if I pitch well and the team wins, there’s nothing I can ask more.”
A play at the plate by former Dodger teammates Kuroda and catcher Russell Martin prevented the score from being tied in the sixth. A splittrer by Kuroda got away from Martin and Weitters made an attempt to score. Martin explained the outcome, “Hiro got off the mound really quick and gave me a good target and I just laid it in there for him.”
Girardi, a former catcher, said, “They both did a tremendous job. It’s a very tough play.”
The only run scored off the Japanese native came in the second. Lead=off batter Adam Jones walked. He moved to third on a single by Matt Wiesters and crossed the plate on a fly ball to left by Chris Davis. Kuroda only allowed four other baserunners during the contest, three who singled and one hit by a pitch.
The outstanding pitching was kept up by the relief pitchers on both teams. Matt Lindstrom and Jim Johnson each hurled a perfect inning for the Birds.
David Robertson fanned all three batters he faced in the eighth. Robertson has not allowed a run in his last 24.1 regular season innings, a current MLB high. He has pitched 11 scoreless innings in 2012.
Mariano Rivera earned his fifth save of the year by pitching a scoreless ninth.
The second game of the series is scheduled to be played on Tuesday evening with Phil Hughes (1-3) facing Brian Matusz (0-3).