NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Hiroki Kuroda raised his pitching hand to block Shane Victorino’s line drive. Four batters later, Kuroda was out of the game.
Another injury for the Yankees. And another loss, too.
“It’s not unusual to lose two games in a row. It becomes somewhat glaring when it’s the first two,” New York manager Joe Girardi said after Wednesday’s 7-4 defeat against the Boston Red Sox. “We didn’t get off to a good start last year and that worked out OK.”
Kuroda, New York’s most dependable starting pitcher last year at 16-11, allowed three singles in the first inning and fell behind on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s hit.
Kuroda was checked by the Yankees after Victorino’s single smacked the middle finger of his right hand starting the second, then hit rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. with a pitch in the lower leg. One out later, Kuroda walked Jacoby Ellsbury on four pitches and forced in a run by hitting Daniel Nava in the lower leg.
Girardi went to the mound along with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, trainer Steve Donohue and an interpreter — allowed for the first time under a rules change this year.
“Against the lefties I was unable to make my pitches,” Kuroda said through a translator. “I wasn’t able to put my strength on the ball.”
Kuroda (0-1) left after 1 1-3 innings, the shortest start of his five big league seasons. X-rays and a CT scan were negative.
“There’s no swelling, scan was good,” he said. “I’ll see the doctor again tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes.”
Kuroda said it was “tough to tell” whether he’d be able to make his next start. He has a bullpen session scheduled for Friday, according to the team’s official website.
“You’re obviously concerned whenever it hits a pitcher’s bare hand,” said Girardi. “I saw him throw some warmup pitches after that and felt better about it, but obviously it started to bother him at the end because you saw him lose his command.”
New York already has five All-Stars on the disabled list: shortstop Derek Jeter, third baseman Alex Rodriguez, first baseman Mark Teixeira, outfielder Curtis Granderson and pitcher Phil Hughes.
While the Red Sox under new manager John Farrell are off to their best start since going 5-0 in 1999, New York has been outscored 15-6 and outhit 26-15. The Yankees have failed to hold a lead at any point in their opening two games for the first time since 1998.
The Yankees have lost seven straight games since Jeter broke an ankle in the AL championship series opener.
The crowd of 40,216 was the smallest for a Red Sox-Yankees game in the Bronx since 27,631 were across the street at the old ballpark on May 27, 1999, according to STATS. And for the second straight game, the stadium was nearly empty in the late innings.
“We haven’t played good enough baseball to win yet,” said Vernon Wells, who hit his first home run for the Yankees. “That’s the bottom line.”
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