Results tagged ‘ John Jaso ’

Kuroda Sinks Mariners In Suzuki’s Yankee Debut



On a day the New York Yankees welcomed their new acquisition Ichiro Suzuki to the team it was another Japanese star who catured the spotlight in defeating Suzuki’s former Seattle Mariners teammates.

Hiroki Kuroda held the the Mariners spellbound for seven innings on Monday and the Yankees scored three runs in the fourth inning as New York snapped its first four-game losing streak of the season and beat Seattle in front of crowd of 29,911 at Safeco Field.

Suzuki began a whirlwind day with a press conference, interviews and a switch to the visitors’ clubhouse before taking the field on which he starred for 10 1/2 seasons in Yankee pinstripes and sporting No. 31. He was given a loud standing ovation from the fans in his first plate appearance.

Suzuki responded by stepping of the batter’s box, removing his batting helmet and bowing to the crowd. He was, however, not a factor in the game. He singled and stole a base in his first at-bat but finished the day 1-for-4.

Kuroda (10-7), however, was brilliant in giving up only one run on three hits, walking one batter (which came back to bite him) and striking out nine.

Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez started the offense off with a one-out double in the fourth off veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood (3-8). Robinson Cano then drew a four-pitch walk and Mark Teixeira laced a 2-0 fastball off the wall in right-field to score Rodriguez.

Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones followed with back-to-back RBI singles to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead they needed to bolster Kuroda’s exceptional outing.

Rodriguez added a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning off reliever Steve Delabar. It was Rodriguez’s 15th home run of the season and the 644th of his career.

The Mariners’ only tally off Kuroda came in the third inning when Kuroda issued a one-out walk to Dustin Ackley. Ackley later stole second and scored with two out when John Jason laced a single to right-field.

David Robertson pitched a perfect eighth inning and Rafael Soriano shook off his second blown save of the season on Sunday to record his 25th save of the season with a perfect ninth.

With the victory, the Yankees improved their season record to 58-38 and they were able to re-establish a seven-game lead in the American League East over the second-place Baltimore Orioles. The last-place Mariners fell to 42-56.


  • Kuroda has established himself as the team’s No. 2 starter behind CC Sabathia with his last 11 starts since shutting out the Oakland A’s on May 27. In that span, Kuroda is 7-1 with a 2.49 ERA. Kuroda is using his devastating split-finger fastball and sharp slider to ring up strikeouts. He has struck out 66 batters in his last 68 innings.
  • Rodriguez is beginning to pick up the pace a bit at the plate. He was 2-for-4 and two runs scored and an RBI and he is 14-for-41 (.341) with two home runs and six RBIs in his last 10 games. He has raised his season average to .274 but his 15 home runs and 44 RBIs still remain well below his usual norms.
  • Teixeira was 3-for-4 in the game, including his RBI double. He is 8-for-20 (.400) on the road trip and he is hitting .387 with two home runs and seven RBIs in his last nine games.


  • The Yankees’ station-to-station offense has a huge downside:  The team ends up hitting into a lot of double plays. The Mariners turned three double plays in the game and it ended up keeping the game closer than it should have been.
  • Curtis Granderson is starting to look like Mark Reynolds at the plate. He was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the game and he has a club-high 114 strikeouts on the season. He has struck out at least once in his last seven games and he also has fanned 12 times in his last 26 at-bats.


To acquire Suzuki the Yankees shipped right-handed pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to the Mariners. The Yankees also will assume $2.5 million of Suzuki’s contract until he is free agent next year.  Outfielder Dewayne Wise was designated for assignment to make room for Suzuki on the roster. Suzuki, 38, is hitting just .261 with four home runs and 28 RBIs this season. But the Yankees see him replacing outfielder Brett Gardner in left-field, batting at the bottom of the lineup and providing speed and defense. Along with amassing 2,534 hits, Suzuki has won 10 Gold Gloves.  . . .  Suzuki started his first game with the Yankees in right-field and batted eighth because Yankees right-fielder Nick Swisher is still hampered by a sore left hip flexor. Manager Joe Girardi said Swisher will miss the Seattle series but could return to the lineup on Friday.


The Yankees will continue their three-game series with the Mariners on Tuesday.

Former Mariners right-hander Freddy Garcia (4-3, 5.37 ERA) will start for the Yankees. Garcia gave up four runs on nine hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings in his last start on Thursday against the Oakland Athletics. He is 5-3 with a 5.23 ERA against the Mariners in his career.

Garcia will be opposed by Felix Hernandez (8-5, 2.82 ERA). Hernandez gave one run on eight hits and struck out three in eight innings in a victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday. He is 6-5 with a 3.45 ERA lifetime against the Yankees.

Game-time will be 10:10 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast by the YES Network.


Swisher’s 2-Run Blast Exposes Rays’ Weaker Bullpen


TAMPA – The Tampa Bay Rays may have seen a glimpse on Thursday night of how life in 2011 will be with a shaky bullpen.
Nick Swisher delivered a two-run home run on a 3-0 pitch from Rays reliever Mike Ekstrom in the bottom of the seventh inning as New York rallied to defeat Tampa Bay at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Boone Logan (1-1) pitched a scoreless inning of relief to get credit for the victory. Ekstrom (0-1) took the loss. Luis Ayala pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his second save of the spring.
The Yankees raised their Grapefruit League record to 8-11-2. The Rays fell to 8-10-1.
  • Swisher’s clutch home run was his first of the spring. It came after lefty Cesar Ramos retired the first two hitters in the seventh but he then walked Robinson Cano. Rays Manager Joe Maddon summoned the right-handed Ekstrom, which turned Swisher around to his power side. Ekstrom missed with his first three offerings and then grooved a 3-1 fastball that Swisher hit over the deck in right-field.
  • Alex Rodriguez homered for the third consecutive game. His solo blast to lead off the second inning came off Rays starter Chris Bootcheck. Rodriguez has hit safely in all 11 games he has played this spring and he has now driven in runs in five straight contests.
  • Phil Hughes had a passable fourth outing. He gave up two runs on four hits and one walk and fanned three batters over six innings. He gave up a sac fly to Manny Ramirez in the opening frame and was victimized again on his cutter to open the third inning when John Jason hit a solo home run to right.
  • Steve Garrison, who already has been optioned to Double-A Trenton, came in relief with the bases loaded and two out with the Yankees protecting their 3-2 lead in the eighth inning. Garrison got the Yankees out of the jam by fanning Chris Carter.
  • The Yankees scored 10 runs on 12 hits on Wednesday and then went back to their old ways. They managed only three hits in the game: Swisher and Rodriguez hit home runs and Curtis Granderson tripled to lead of the sixth inning. He remained there as Jesus Montero grounded out to third, Brett Gardner struck out and Derek Jeter hit back to the pitcher Ramos to end the threat.
  • Romulo Sanchez nearly handed the lead back to Tampa Bay in the eighth inning after Swisher had put the Yankees in the lead for the first time. Sanchez walked the bases loaded after retiring two of the first three batters he faced. But Garrison came in to shut down the Rays.
  • The Yankees were not exactly facing the Rays’ best pitchers but still struggled. Bootcheck, Adam Russell, Jake McGee and Ramos held the Yankees to just two hits and one run until the seventh inning. The Yankees also were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. This was on a night when all the starters, except for catcher Russell Marrtin, were starting for the Yankees.
The Yankees received a clubhouse visit from former manager Joe Torre, who was on hand in his new role as MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations. Torre met with manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman at the same venue his tenure with the Yankees ended after 12 years as manager. Torre said his return did feel “strange but was good.” Torre also said he has accepted an invitation to Yankee Stadium on June 26 to take part in Old-Timer’s Day festivities. Torre managed the Yankees to 12 consecutive postseason appearances and won four championships during that time.  . . .  Girardi promised that he would begin experimenting with different lineups the rest of the spring and he began on Thursday with installing Gardner in the leadoff spot and Jeter batting second. The Yankees are considering using Gardner in the leadoff spot to take better advantage of his ability to get on base and his speed.  . . .  Reliever Rafael Soriano was scheduled to pitch against the Orioles on Wednesday but he declined because he did not want to pitch against a team in the same division. Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild forgot about Soriano’s request he made in January and they dispatched him to pitch in a minor-league game on Thursday afternoon.
The Yankees will take a road to Dunedin, FL, on Friday to face another division rival in the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees have scheduled A.J. Burnett to make his fourth spring start. Sergio Mitre, who is vying for a rotation spot, also will pitch. The Jays will send right-hander Brandon Morrow to the hill.
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EST and the game will not be telecast.

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