Yankees Game 70: Ichiro shines in first game

Ichiro Suzuki brought in three of the Yankees’ six runs including two in the eighth on a bloop single. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Dodgers 4 — New York Yankees 6

 

The Yankees take the first game of a doubleheader in today’s 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In a pitching matchup with an Asian feel, Japanese Hiroki Kuroda pitched for the Yankees took on Korean Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched for the Dodgers. Despite an error, Ryu would get out of the first inning unscathed. For Kuroda, he gave up a single to rookie phenom Yasiel Puig but Puig would be thrown out trying to stretch a ground ball single to center into a double.

In the second inning, the Yankees would draw first blood. A lead off single by Thomas Neal would be followed by a single from Ichiro. David Adams would move the runners over with a bunt and Lyle Overbay would come through. A double over center fielder Andre Ethier’s head would bring in two runs and give the Yankees the early lead.

Kuroda would get into trouble in the fourth inning. Adrian Gonzalez led off the inning with a single and Hanley Ramirez would follow with a double to put two in scoring position with no outs. Andre Ethier would hit a laser up the middle that Kuroda would snag and throw to third base to double Gonzalez off base for two outs. A ground out would end the inning and Kuroda would build off of this, retiring the next seven in a row.

Ichiro’s second hit of the game would lead off the sixth inning when he took Ryu’s 1-0 fastball to the short porch with a laser of a home run, his third of the season. In the seventh inning, Kuroda would face another jam with the bases loaded but he would give up two, one on a sacrifice fly and the other came on a single. Kuroda would not finish the inning but Shawn Kelley would come in for relief to strike out the last batter of the inning.

Hiroki Kuroda went 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Former Ray J.P. Howell would start the inning for the Dodgers and would get one out before Jayson Nix and Robinson Cano would get back-to-back singles. Right-hander Ronald Belisario would come in to face Vernon Wells and an odd play would occur.

On a 1-1 pitch, Wells would hit a pop up between the pitcher and catcher that Belisario let drop with the intent of getting more than one out as it was not high enough to qualify under the infield fly rule. Belisario would bobble the ball on the ground, losing the runner at third and likely the runner at first. But because the runner at second was unsure if he would catch the ball, hesitated and would be off base when Belisario recovered. When the Dodgers reliever realized the runner was off of a base, he made an errant throw to second base, sending it into center field and Jayson Nix would score on the second error in the play for Belisario. He would hit Thomas Neal with a pitch in the shoulder before being relieved for.

With Ichiro up, left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez would come in but Ichiro would have a vintage hit that blooped over the infield bringing in two runs, creating a 6-2 lead. With a safe lead, Preston Claiborne would come in for the eighth inning. The first batter Claiborne faced is Yasiel Puig who hit another single to center field but hustled out of the box and was able to make it safely for a double this time. Adrian Gonzalez would follow with a deep fly ball to right field that Ichiro would make a leaping catch on the warning track to rob him of an extra base hit. Unfortunately, no Yankee would be able to catch the laser of a two-run home run that Hanley Ramirez hit, his fourth hit in as many at-bats. Claiborne would be relieved of his worst appearance in the majors and David Robertson would come in with a two-run lead.

David Robertson would walk the first two batters he faced but got out of the inning with the lead. When the Yankees have the lead after eight innings, Mariano Rivera is usually next. The first batter Rivera would face in the ninth inning is former Yankee Jerry Hairston Jr., and he would fly out for the first out. Nick Punto would strike out swinging and a big-time matchup would take place: Mariano Rivera vs. Yasiel Puig.

The first two pitches would go for a ball but the next three would be strikes. The first two strikes had Puig swinging and the last was a called third strike as the veteran won in his first meeting with the rookie for his 25th save of the season.

 

 

Win – Hiroki Kuroda (7-5)

Loss – Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3)

Save – Mariano Rivera (25)

 

Notables

Dodgers

*Hanley Ramirez – 4 for 4, 2 R, 2B, 2-Run Home Run (2) in the 8th, 2 RBI (5)

*Jerry Hairston Jr. – 1 for 2, RBI (9)

Yankees

*Ichiro Suzuki – 3 for 4, 2 R, Solo Home Run (3) in the 6th, 3 RBI (14)

*Lyle Overbay – 1 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI (32)

 

Current Yankees Record: 39-31

 

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Yankees fan for most of my life. Has always had a love for baseball, whether it be playing it, watching it, reading about it, or writing about it. Tweet me: @adakannayr