American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, August 28th
(All times Eastern)
New York Yankees (70-62) at Toronto Blue Jays (59-74), 7:07 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Hiroki Kuroda (11-9, 2.71)
Toronto - Todd Redmond (1-2, 4.44)
(Sports Network) - While Alfonso Soriano and Alex Rodriguez continue to turn
back the clock, New York Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda would just simply like
to dial things back a few weeks.
Kuroda tries to rebound from two straight subpar efforts and secure a series
victory for the Yankees on Wednesday night in the finale of a three-game set
versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
Kuroda has been roughed up over back-to-back losses to Boston and Tampa Bay
after having gone 4-1 with a 0.94 earned run average over seven starts prior.
He gave up just five earned runs over 48 innings in that span, but the Red Sox
got to him for five runs -- three earned -- and a season-high 11 hits over 5
2/3 innings on Aug. 17.
The right-hander hoped to rebound on Friday versus the Rays, but instead
matched career highs by giving up seven runs and four homers in six innings
of work. It was the first home runs Kuroda had allowed since June 30.
"It was really strange, he just didn't have his stuff tonight," said Yankees
manager Joe Girardi.
The 38-year-old hurler is now 11-9 with a 2.71 ERA in 26 starts this year,
three of those coming versus the Blue Jays. He is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in those
outings and 4-1 lifetime in six matchups against Toronto with a 3.03 ERA.
Kuroda would love to see Alfonso Soriano stay red hot. The 37-year-old slugger
is hitting .275 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI in 30 games since being
reacquired by the Yankees and he went deep twice in last night's 7-1 win.
Soriano's second homer was the 400th of his career. The first 98 of those came
with New York to begin his career from 1999-2003 before he was dealt to the
Texas Rangers for Alex Rodriguez.
"He's been great for us. He's the reason we have been scoring a lot more
runs," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Soriano. "We get another big night
out of him tonight. He's been great."
Rodriguez also homered last night, his second in as many games. The 38-year-
old has four in 20 games this season and 651 in his career, nine back of
Willie Mays for fourth on baseball's all-time list.
Andy Pettitte was also solid over seven scoreless innings, though New York got
a scare when Robinson Cano was hit in the left hand by a pitch in the first
inning by Toronto's J.A. Happ. He was replaced in the bottom of the inning by
Eduardo Nunez and x-rays after the game were negative and Cano is day-to-day.
Nunez's status is also up in the air after he tweaked his right knee later in
the game and had to come out.
Still, New York has won seven of 10 and 12 of its past 17 to sit 4 1/2 games
out of the league's second wild card spot.
Moises Sierra collected three hits for Toronto, while Happ was charged with
five runs over 4 2/3 innings.
"I wasn't sharp enough. It's tough when you get behind against a team like
that," Happ said.
Toronto has lost eight of its last 10 games and is 2-13 versus New York this
On Wednesday, the Blue Jays turn to Todd Redmond, who is 1-2 with a 4.44 ERA
in 11 games (8 starts) this season.
The righty has not won since July 7, posting six straight no-decisions before
a 12-4 loss at Houston on Friday. Redmond gave up season highs of eight runs
-- seven earned -- and eight hits, also walking three and striking out six
over 3 1/3 innings.
Redmond, 28, will face the Yankees for the first time.
08/28 10:53:51 ET